President Obama signed the first regular appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2012 into law last Friday. The legislation was referred to as a “minibus” and combined three of the twelve regular appropriations bills: Agriculture, Commerce/ Justice/ Science, and Transportation/ Housing and Urban Development. Earlier last week, the House passed the bill with a 298-121 vote and the Senate approved it with a vote of 70-30.
The legislation signed by the President also included a continuing resolution to fund the agencies not otherwise included in the legislation through Dec. 16, 2011. The resolution provides Congress with additional time to complete work on the nine remaining appropriations bills for FY 2012. Also on Capitol Hill last week, a proposal to add a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution failed in the House. In a 261-165 vote, the proposal fell short of the two-thirds majority required for a constitutional amendment.
External links:Status of Appropriations Legislation for FY 2012Statement of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold RogersStatement of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel InouyeHouse Appropriations Committee Summary of Conference ReportText of Conference ReportJoint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference