House Passes Omnibus Appropriations; DOD Bill Still In Negotiations

House Passes Omnibus Appropriations; DOD Bill Still In Negotiations

The House passed the Consolidated Appropriations bill (H.R. 3288) yesterday that includes the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill that funds NASA, NSF and NOAA. Details about the bill are posted on the House Appropriations Committee’s website. The DOD appropriations bill is not included in the package.

NASA would receive $18.7 billion, the same amount as requested, though there are adjustments within that overall figure. Language in the bill states that NASA cannot spend any of the funds to terminate the current Constellation program or begin a different program. Report language explains that Congress continues to await a decision by President Obama on the future of the human space flight program and that “accordingly it is premature for the conferees to advocate or initiate significant changes to the current program absent a bona fide proposal from the Administration and subsequent assessment, consideration and enactment by Congress.”

The vote was 221-202, with all Republicans and 28 Democrats opposing the bill, according to Congress Daily (subscription required), which added that Senate Republicans are expected to oppose the bill and use procedural measures to slow debate. The Senate is expected to remain in session this weekend (as it did last weekend) to try and pass the bill.

The Department of Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326) is the only pending FY2010 appropriations bill not included in the package. House and Senate leaders reportedly hope to pass that bill by the end of next week when the current Continuing Resolution expires. Congress Daily reports that the DOD bill is likely to be used as a vehicle to extend unemployment insurance, COBRA health and food stamp benefits, and deal with several other matters.

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