Senate Expected to Vote on Two Packages of Appropriations Bills This Week
The Senate is expected to take-up two packages of Fiscal Year 2020 spending bills this week that were passed by the House back in June. The first will include funding for the departments of Commerce, Justice, Agriculture, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs. If that package successfully passes the Senate, the next package brought to the floor will include funding for the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State, and Energy. It is important to note that three spending bills are not included in these two packages: Financial Services, Homeland Security, and Legislative Branch.
To recap, the House and Senate returned from recess last week to pick up where they left off with the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations process. The President previously signed into law a Continuing Resolution that is currently funding the government through November 21 at Fiscal Year 2019 levels. Congress now has exactly one month to pass all 12 spending bills before authorized funding runs out.
Back in June, the House passed 10 of its 12 funding measures wholly on party lines, without any Republican “yea” votes. The two measures still awaiting passage by the full House are the Homeland Security and Legislative Branch bills, which are notably left out of the packages being moved in the Senate this week as well. The Homeland Security bill has been controversial under the Trump administration as the President continues to request funding for a border wall. The Legislative Branch bill is also politically sensitive as it funds the operations of Congress and related agencies.
ASME will continue to track any progress made in advance of the looming November 21 deadline when funding for the federal government is set to run out.