Friday, the House formally began the process of “marking” appropriations bills by beginning to advance bills from subcommittee level. Three of the twelve appropriations bills moved out of their respective subcommittees: Labor / Health and Human Services (HHS); Legislative Branch; and, Military Construction / VA. Marks signify recommended changes to the President’s Budget request by the subcommittees.
As previously reported in Quick Hits, the House-approved target topline of $1.3 trillion in discretionary funding has not been agreed by the Senate. Without an agreement between the two chambers, we are making forward, but uncertain progress, toward an end game.
Adding to the continued ambiguity, there is an ongoing debate surrounding disaster aid relief for Puerto Rico and the Midwestern states that have suffered from recent record flooding.
The House will vote this week on a proposed spending measure from the Democrats that would provide an additional $17.2 billion for the relief effort. Senate Republicans are not in favor of these supplemental funds (the House already passed a measure in January). So far, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Richard Shelby says “nothing’s moved” on the bill.
Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Richard Shelby are scheduled to meet today to try to find a compromise on disaster relief.
The Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee (HAC-D), will mark its FY20 bill on May 15th.
May will be a busy month as subcommittees continue to release their respective marks on the President’s FY20 funding request.