Quick Hit – July 11, 2016

What Does It Mean…

A continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through the end of the calendar year is increasingly likely as the appropriations process grinds to a standstill. As it stands, the House and Senate only have this week left to work on legislation before breaking for the summer to focus on campaigns and the party conventions. Once Congress returns, there will only be 21 legislative days before the election in which to finish all the remaining bills. To date, the House has passed 6 of 12 individual appropriations bills; the Senate has only passed 3 of the 12 required spending bills.  Open talk of an Omnibus appropriation, rolling all 12 bills into one Trillion-plus-dollar spending bill, may already be heard on the Hill.

Last Week Before Extended Summer Recess…

Legislative business in the House and Senate resumes today, ringing the last week before a long summer recess until after Labor Day in September.

 

The House…

At the end of last week, the House moved forward in a procedural vote to move the National Defense Authorization Act to conference.

Speaker Paul Ryan approved the NDAA progress, saying:

“This legislation gives our military the tools and funding it needs to do its job and keep Americans safe. It also gives our men and women in uniform a well-deserved raise. If there’s anyone who deserves an increase in pay, it’s those who risk their lives every day for the safety of this country. “

The conferees, named by Speaker Ryan last Friday, will meet in a conference committee to discuss a final, combined version of the NDAA bill this Wednesday.  Staff-level conferencing is has already begun.  Committee leaders of SASC and HASC acknowledge the bill will not complete conference before the Summer recess.

The House also continued moving forward on individual appropriations bills with the Labor/HHS moving out of subcommittee by voice vote and the Financial Services appropriations bill clearing the House floor by a largely partisan vote of 239-185.

 

The Senate…

The Senate experienced another flare up last week when Senate Democrats voted down a motion to proceed to debate on the Senate Defense Appropriations Bill. Lingering controversy over the maneuver to transfer OCO money to the base budget in the House version of the bill, and continued frustration over a lack of funding for the Zika virus, prompted Democrats to vote down the measure. This move effectively stalls the appropriations process in the Senate for the moment.

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