Wednesday, July 29, 2020

House to Consider HR 7617 – Second FY 2021 Minibus

Tomorrow the House is scheduled to take up HR 7617, the second (and final) FY 2021 minibus. This legislation includes language from the following bills:  

• HR 7617 (DOD – Division A),
• HR 7667 (CJS – Division B),
• HR 7613 (EWR – Division C),
• HR 7668 (Financial Services – Division D),
• HR 7614 (LHH – Division E), and
• HR 7616 (THUD – Division F)

HR 7667, the FY 2021 DHS spending bill, was originally supposed to be included in this minibus, but it was removed in an amendment agreed to last night in the House Rules Committee. The Committee also approved 340 amendments to be submitted from the floor during the debate on this bill.

I will be watching for the following amendments to be considered on the floor:

83. Young (AK), Gabbard (HI), Gallego (AZ): Decreases the Defense Wide Operations and Maintenance account by $10 million and increases the Air Force Operations and Maintenance account by the same amount, for the ISR Operations Office to support the Cyber Operations for Base Resilient Architecture Pilot Program.

163. Gosar (AZ): Transfers $5 million from the Department of Energy's Departmental Administration account to the Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response account.

221. Bera (CA): Decreases and increases funds by $1 million in the CDC Public Health Preparedness and Response account to urge CDC to integrate early warning surveillance data, such as network-connected devices like smart thermometers and pulse oximeters or symptom surveys, into its COVID-19 syndromic surveillance to help identify potential hotspots even before individuals present to a health care facility.

338. Stauber (MN), Emmer (MN), Lipinski (IL): Increases and decreases the PHMSA authorization by $1,000,000 to highlight the need to conduct a study of corrosion control techniques for leak prevention of regulated above ground storage tanks. (10 minutes)


The removal of the DHS spending provisions means that for the second year in a row, the Democratic leadership in the House could not work out a deal with their members for language on immigration issues that would allow for both moderates and progressives within the party to vote for the bill. Since there is little room for Republican support for the language in HR 7667, the Democrats would have to pass the legislation with only Democratic votes.

The revised minibus will almost certainly pass this week. It will not be taken up in the Senate and the Senate is unlikely to get any spending bills out of their Appropriations Committee before September 31st. There will be a continuing resolution to keep the government operating and the two Appropriations Committees will work out a compromise spending bill. Unfortunately, it may take the 117th Congress to actually pass such a bill unless the Democrats win big in November. If that happens the Republicans are likely to be more cooperative in passing a ‘compromise’ bill this year.

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