Friday, December 16, 2011

HR 2055 – The [New] Consolidated Appropriations Act 2012

The 112th Congress is getting to be the experts in last minute deals. Apparently the Senate was not interested in the new language in HR 3671 that the House drafted. A deal was then brokered on language more acceptable to the Senate and still reasonably acceptable to the House. So to make it easy to get it passed in both houses of Congress they had the Conference Committee for HR 2055, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012, substitute the new appropriations language for the Senate amendment to HR 2055. Who says that there are no creative people in Congress (well more likely their staffs)?

As with HR 3671, the two divisions of this bill (out of a total of 9) that will probably contain provisions of the most interest to the chemical- and cyber-security communities are Division A (DOD) and Division D (DHS). This bill has an identical Division D, Title V, §540 that would extend the CFATS authorization until October 4, 2012.

NOTE: I have never understood why Congress doesn’t just change that date to reflect the end of the fiscal year like almost everything else in the appropriations bills. It would result in a four-days-less-than-a-year extension when they did it, but those four days are meaningless without the appropriations that take effect on October 1st.

I’m glad I didn’t waste any time today (waste in hindsight) reviewing the details of HR 3671 as it is now dead in the dusty files of the Library of Congress.

As I write this the House Rules Committee is finishing up their rule hearing, which started at 11:45 pm EDT. The rule is a closed rule (as with the standard post-Conference Committee rule), but it includes a couple of interesting details which I’m not sure that I understood from the part of the discussion that I heard. It will be interesting to read the rule.

In any case Chairman Drier (R,CA) noted that he expected the debate on the rule on the House floor to begin at about 10:00 am EST tomorrow morning.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */