FY2019 Appropriations Update

The Senate has passed nine of its 12 annual FY19 spending bills in four minibus appropriations packages while the House has passed just six of its bills in two minibus appropriations packages and one (Defense) bill. When members of Congress return next week they have 11 days to complete action on the FY19 spending bills before the end of the fiscal year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that conference approval of the Energy & Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs minibus package could come as soon as next week. The Veterans Affairs section of the conference report has been one of the biggest hurdles during the negotiations as funding for a private health care program for veterans would be moved from mandatory spending to discretionary spending (subject to spending caps). This issue may be resolved by adding emergency funding to the package.

McConnell would also like to see conference action on its Defense-Labor HHS Education, Interior-Financial Services, and Agriculture-Transportation/HUD minibus appropriations packages.

In all likelihood, a continuing resolution (CR) will be needed to keep the government open after September 30. And a shutdown is not out of the question as the President has threatened to do this if he does not get the funding he requested for his southwest border wall. In addition to demonstrating to his base his commitment to building a wall, a shutdown could be used as a distraction from the Paul Manafort trial, which is scheduled to begin September 24. If a CR is passed, it could fund the federal government through Thanksgiving or Christmas. And it could be the first of many CRs depending on the outcome of the midterm elections. If the Democrats take control of the House, Republicans may want to lock in current spending levels with a CR that lasts through FY19.

The CR could also become a magnet for other expiring authorization measures as floor time will be limited. The Senate will spend much of its floor time on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. A farm bill conference report is also supposed to come up. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said that a multi-year FAA reauthorization (or stopgap authorization) could be added to the CR since its authorization expires on September 30.

FY2019 Appropriations Bills Status

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action
Agriculture Subcommittee: May 9

Full Committee: May 16

Subcommittee: May 22

Full Committee: May 24

Floor: August 1

Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: May 9

Full Committee: May 17

Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 14

Defense Subcommittee: June 7

Full Committee: June 13

Floor: June 28

Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 28

Floor: August 23

Energy & Water Subcommittee: May 7

Full Committee: May 16

Floor: June 8

Subcommittee: May 22

Full Committee: May 24

Floor: June 25

Financial Services Subcommittee: May 24

Full Committee: June 13

Floor: July 19

Subcommittee: June 19

Full Committee: Jun 21

Floor: August 1

Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 25

Subcommittee: June 19

Full Committee: Jun 21

Interior Environment Subcommittee: May 15

Full Committee: June 6

Floor: July 19

Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 14

Floor: August 1

Labor HHS Education Subcommittee: June 15

Full Committee: July 11

Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 28

Floor: August 23

Legislative Branch Subcommittee: April 26

Full Committee: May 8

Floor: June 8

Full Committee: June 14

Floor: June 25

Military Construction VA Subcommittee: April 26

Full Committee: May 8

Floor: June 8

Subcommittee: June 5

Full Committee: June 7

Floor: June 25

State Foreign Operations Subcommittee: June 13

Full Committee: June 20

Subcommittee: June 19

Full Committee: Jun 21

Transportation HUD Subcommittee: May 16

Full Committee: May 23

Subcommittee: June 5

Full Committee: June 7

Floor: August 1

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