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Senate Working Through FY2019 Appropriations Legislation

30 Jul 2018 5:38 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)

On July 19th, the House passed H.R.6147, an FY 2019 "Minibus" Bill funding several non-defense agencies (Transportation, the EPA, HHS, Interior, and the Forest Service of the USDA); the vote was 217-199. The bill has since then been sent to the Senate, where, as of last week, the Senate has added several other provisions to the bill, including the text of the FY 2019 THUD Spending Bill (S. 3023). S.3023 was sent to the full Senate for a vote by the Appropriations Committee back in June, and had not surfaced on the floor until last week (notably, on July 25th, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) specifically mentioned on the floor that THUD funding was included in the Minibus).

Further progress on the Minibus has since stalled, with no major actions on the part of the Senate since July 26th. It appears that instead of passing one Omnibus, the House and Senate have decided to divide spending bills into several Minibuses, with the Senate also set to vote on H.R.5515, which contains Defense spending measures.

While the House will enter its August Recess Period on August 1st (there are still activities scheduled for July 31st), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) back in June cancelled the bulk of the Senate’s August Recess Period for the stated purpose of passing FY 2019 spending bills, and voting on outstanding appointees for a large number of Federal positions. As a reminder, the Trump Administration’s appointee for HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, Mr. Robert Hunter Kurtz, remains on the list of appointees yet to be voted on. Due to the differences in scope between the House and Senate versions of H.R.6147, reconciliation will be needed. However, the reconciliation committee cannot meet until after the recess period ends in the House.

President Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly threatened that he will not sign any spending bill unless key demands are met by Congress on immigration including full funding for his border wall.

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