Friday, September 29, 2023

House Completed Consideration of Spending Bills – 9-27-23

Yesterday, the House continued their consideration of amendments for the three spending bill that they began consideration of on Tuesday, including HR 4365 (DOD spending), HR 4367 (DHS spending) HR 4368 (ARD spending) HR 4665 (State Dept spending), and HR 5692 (Ukraine supplemental). The House considered 60 amendments and passed 26. None of the amendments were of specific interest here.

Final Action

The House completed action on all five spending bills:

HR 4368 (ARD) Failed by a vote of 191 to 237 (27 Republicans voted Nay),

HR 4367 (DHS) Passed by a vote of 220 to 208 (2 Democrats vote Yea),

HR 5692 (Ukraine) Passed by a vote of 311 to 117 (117 Republicans voted Nay),

HR 4365 (DOD) Passed by a vote of 218 to 210 (2 Republicans voted Nay, 2 Democrats vote Yea)

HR 4665 (State) Passed by a vote of 216 to 212 (2 Republicans vote Nay)

Moving Forward

Three of the bills (HR 5692, HR 4365, and HR 4665) will now be forwarded to the Senate for action. The DHS bill will not be forwarded to the Senate until HR 2 (the House Republican signature border security bill) is enacted (this was included in §15 of H Res 723 that passed in the House on Tuesday). It is not yet clear what if any action will be taken in the Senate. If the provisions of the Senate CR included in the Senate version of HR 3539 (which I have not seen yet) are enacted, we will almost certainly see an Omnibus spending bill sometime after the first of the year. In that case no action will be taken on these bills. If HR 5525 (the House version of a short term CR being considered today) is enacted, the Senate would probably take up the DOD and DHS spending bills (perhaps as its own minibus), substitute Senate language and pass those bills. But the Senate would probably first resume consideration of HR 4366, their first minibus that includes the ARD spending. HR 5692 will likely be taken up in the Senate in either case and will probably pass without change.


Of course, this discussion presupposes that the House will pass a continuing resolution. At this point, I do not think that that is possible. While the House was able to pass four of the five spending bill, it was only at the cost of including language that would have no chance of being considered in the Senate, of surviving a conference committee, or being signed by the President. The language of HR 5525 fits in the same mold. Unfortunately for the House leadership, there are probably enough of the Republican 11 that see any CR as an anathema that I will be surprised to see the House approve the rule for the consideration of HR 5525, much less pass the bill.

At this point, I do not see anyway that any CR makes it to President Biden’s desk before midnight Saturday, the government (well vast swaths of it anyway) will shutdown on Sunday. IF HR 5525 passes, it will be some relatively lengthy period before serious negotiations are able to proceed on a bill that would reopen the government as the Republican 11 will volubly insist on maintaining all of the provisions of HR 5525 in any deal, a non-starter as a negotiating position. If HR 5525 fails (and I expect that it will) and the Senate passes HR 3539 (FAA reauthorization) with CR provisions, Speaker McCarthy will be faced with deciding to make a deal with Democrats and facing an inevitable floor fight for retaining his speakership. In either case, McCarthy is going to have to make a deal with Democrats and face the ire of the Republican 11. Now it is just waiting to see how long it will take him to realize that.

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