Quick Hit – June 4, 2019

Disaster Aid, “Minibus,” and Markups:

So much for a do-nothing Congress. Plenty is finally happening and it’s challenging to keep up.  Despite public perception of a singular focus on whether to proceed with impeachment, A LOT is happening.

Congress returned after the Memorial Day recess and got straight to work. Some glimmers of positive movement on Capitol Hill on many fronts:

  • The $19.1 billion disaster aid bill, which includes significant funding for farmers, Puerto Rico, Midwestern, states, Florida and defense military (re)construction required due to last year’s deadly Hurricanes.  See the table below demonstrating the breadth of relief, courtesy of Bloomberg Government.
Sen. Richard Shelby – Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Senator Richard Shelby (Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations) is initiating discussion to raise the spending caps within the next week – this effort will move us closer to an agreed upon budget topline.  Chairman Shelby routinely demonstrates a deft hand at guiding these contentious negotiations.
  •  House Democrats are negotiating the possibility of a $1 trillion “minibus” package – this would be the Democrats solution to keeping the government open past Sept. 30th. At this early stage, expect House Republicans to resist – pressure needs to build significantly before these contours come into focus.
    • What’s in the “minibus”? – Early reporting suggests $17 billion in additional funding for defense with no increase for Dept. of Homeland Security
    • Democrats will demand the “non-defense” portion receive a similar increase.
  • The House Rules Committee has announced the amendments process for the following 7 of 16 appropriations bills that will proceed jointly to the House floor as soon as next week: Labor, HHS, Education, Legislative Branch, Defense, State and Foreign Operations and Energy and Water.  See the Rules Committee instructions here.
Rep. Jim McGovern – Chair of House Rules Committee

A large Congressional Delegation (CODEL) proceeds to Normandy later in the week to participate in 75th Anniversary ceremonies.

Upcoming Markup Schedule:

HASC subcommittee markups continue; anticipate detailed tables within the next week

SASC final release of its markups is imminent; anticipate detailed tables within the next week

SAC-D will likely complete its markup before the end of June

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