Senate to Consider Two FY20 Appropriations “Minibuses” Next Week

On the Senate floor on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch (R-KY) announced that he would file cloture on motions to proceed to two FY20 spending bills, setting up votes for next week. The first vote will be on a package of domestic funding bill. While the contents of that package are still being negotiated, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said that measure could include three bills and specifically mentioned the Agriculture and Transportation-HUD bills. McConnell said that if the Senate can get bipartisan support to take up that bill, they will stay on it until they complete it. Afterward, they will turn to a second package that will include the FY20 Defense, Labor HHS Education, State Foreign Operations, and Energy & Water appropriations bills. 

The only bill not yet released by the Senate is the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs bill. The subcommittee chairman, John Boozman (R-AR), said the bill could be introduced this week or next. He indicated that it would include $3.6B to fund military construction projects the President wanted to delay in order to fund the border wall. 

The federal government is currently funded through November 21 under a continuing resolution (CR). They need to pass all 12 annual spending bills or another CR before then to avoid a shutdown. The President has indicated that he is not interested in signing other domestic spending bills until he has an agreement on funding for his border wall. He could force another shutdown, or use his executive authority to transfer funds from other accounts using a national emergency declaration.

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