Sunday, July 18, 2010

DHS FY 2011 Budget Update

As I reported on Friday, the Senate Appropriations Committee ordered three budget bills favorably reported, including the DHS appropriations bill. The DHS bill has yet to be introduced, but I did find an interesting comment in the report (S Report 111-221) for the Agriculture Department appropriations bill (S 3606). In describing the vote on the reporting of the three bills the report notes that the Committee has “authorized the chairman of the committee or the chairman of the subcommittee to offer the text of the Senate-reported bill as a committee amendment in the nature of a substitute to the House companion measure” (pg 104). This is a standard procedure in the Senate and means that the Senate does not intend to take up these bills until the House has passed their version of the legislation. Then the Senate will essentially erase what was done in the House and pass their version of the bill. This would then require the bill to go to conference to work out the differences between the two versions. We still have to wait to see what the Senate bill actually includes and the House has yet to address their version before the full House Appropriations Committee. There is a long way to go before we get to the point where the Conference Committee will be designated to work out these differences.

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