Appropriations Update

Appropriations Update

As the clock ticks down on the current Continuing Resolution, which expires on December 18, seven of the 12 appropriations bills still have not been cleared by Congress. All seven have passed the House, but only four have passed the Senate. Conference agreements on the four that have passed both houses, including the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill that includes NASA, NOAA and NSF, and the Department of Defense (DOD) bill — have not been reached.

Congress continues to discuss how to get these remaining bills enacted. Congress Daily (subscription required) reports today that no definitive strategy has been agreed upon, but quotes House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as saying that he hopes to have all of them completed in the next two weeks. One reported scenario is that all but the DOD bill will be wrapped together into an omnibus package along with jobs-related legislation, a short term extension of the PATRIOT Act, and a provision to prevent a scheduled cut to Medicare reimbursements to physicians. The DOD bill reportedly might include a debt limit increase. Such legislation would have to go back to the Senate for a vote, which is currently focused on health care legislation.

Stay tuned!

For the status of the appropriations bills, visit the Thomas website of the Library of Congress.

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