The President signed the Bipartisan Budget Act (H.R. 3877) last week. Senate appropriators can now turn their attention to their FY20 spending bills. Last week Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) distributed the individual spending allocations for each of his 12 subcommittees, but those figures have not been made public. The allocations will allow the Senators and committee staff to finish drafting their bills during the August recess so that they are ready when Congress returns the week of September 9.
Senate Republicans are looking to decrease the Labor HHS Education FY20 allocation by $5 billion in order to fund the President’s border wall. This is a clear signal that negotiations between the House and Senate on the Homeland Security FY20 spending bill could be contentious. Congress approved $1.3B for the wall in the FY19 omnibus signed into law in February. The President has requested an additional $8.6B for border barriers in FY20 – $5B for the Department of Homeland Security and $3.6B for the Department of Defense to assist with the project.
The first full committee markup will be on September 12. The first package the Senate marks up could be a three-bill minibus that includes the Defense, Labor HHS Education, and Energy & Water spending bills. Chairman Shelby has the goal of marking up all 12 FY20 spending bills before the end of September. The committee will mark up four bills per week to meet that goal.