Thursday, March 22, 2018

Rules Committee Approves HR 1625 Amendment – FY 2018 Spending Bill

Late last night the House Rules Committee met to consider the rule for the floor consideration of the Senate amendment to HR 1625. This bill has become the vehicle for the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. The Committee approved a closed rule for the consideration of the bill, with one hour of debate and no floor amendments to be considered.

The Spending Bill

The Committee web site has a link to the full amendment that is the spending bill. There are also links to most of the separate divisions of the bill (essentially individual spending bills) to make it somewhat easier to wade through the bill. The divisions of potential specific interest to readers of this blog include:

• Division B CJS;
• Division C DOD;
• Division F DHS; and
Division L THUD

Division S of the bill contains a number of provisions that are separate from the actual spending bills, but need to be reauthorized, at least on a short-term basis. There is no separate Division S document, but the Committee did provide a summary document providing a very brief description of the programs covered.

The Explanatory Statement for this spending bill has not been published. The rule for the consideration of this bill (H Res 796) allows the Chair of the Appropriations Committee to insert the Statement in today’s Congressional Record. The Statement provides most of the details normally seen in the committee reports on the individual spending bills.

Moving Forward

The House will almost certainly take up this bill this afternoon. Due to the late availability of the huge bill, it is not yet clear if the Republicans will have enough votes to pass this bill on their own or if they will receive any support from House Democrats. I suspect that the bill will pass.

The big question will, of course, be the Senate. I would like to hope that the negotiators have done an adequate job to ensure that they have the necessary votes, but you can never tell for sure with a bill as complex as this. There is an interesting news report about the potential delay of the consideration of the bill in the Senate by a single Senator.

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