Friday, September 8, 2023

Senate Begins Consideration of HR 4366 – FY 2024 MilCon Spending

Yesterday, the Senate began consideration of HR 4366, the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024. A cloture motion was filed to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to HR 4366. An agreement was reached to vote on the cloture motion on Monday evening. A positive vote on that motion would allow the amendment offering process to begin.

One amendment was proposed yesterday for HR 4366 yesterday, SA 1092. It was offered by Sen Murray (D,WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The amendment offers substitute language for the bill, changing the name to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024. It includes language from the following Senate bills:

• Division A, S 2127, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs,

• Division B, S 2131, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024 (ARD), and

• Division C, S 2437, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024 (THUD).

The bipartisan nature of the spending bills passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee means that the Senate will likely pass this consolidated spending bill after considering some number of amendments. The bill would then go back to the House for an up or down vote on the Senate amendments to HR 4366 and the House will almost certainly insist on it’s more limited version of the bill. The actual fight in the House over the provisions in the bill will only really start once the conference committee reports back a further modified version of the bill, which will again typically receive an up or down vote in the House and Senate.

There remains a very real possibility that the conference version of the bill will be essentially killed in the House Rules Committee where the Republican 11 have (probably) three votes out of thirteen. If each of the four Democrats vote against the conference report rule (historically typical) then the three radical Republican votes could block the bill from moving to the House floor. If a deal is reached, however, between moderate Republicans and at least two of the Democrats on the Committee, the bill would move to the Floor for consideration. This would get the bill passed on the floor of the House, but would cause problems for Speaker McCarthy (R,CA).

NOTE: I will be reporting on the cybersecurity and chemical safety provisions of S 2437 this weekend.

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