Congress Moves Forward on 2012 Appropriations

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While the final outcome of the appropriations process this year will likely be affected by negotiations over the debt limit, in the meantime Congress has continued to make progress on the FY 2012 bills.

Last week, the House passed the Energy/ Water bill and has now completed five of the twelve bills. The House Appropriations Committee completed action on three bills: Interior/ Environment and Related Agencies, Commerce/ Justice/ Science, and Legislative Branch. The House is expected to consider the Legislative Branch bill on the floor this week.

The Senate process continues to be complicated by the lack of a budget resolution providing an allocation to the Appropriations Committee. Last week, the Senate began considering the Military Construction/ Veterans Affairs bill — the only bill that has been reported by the Appropriations Committee. The Senate is expected to resume consideration of the bill this week.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Al.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, raised concerns that the Senate is violating a provision in the Budget Act prohibiting the consideration of appropriations bills prior to passing a budget resolution. After Sessions raised a budget point of order, the Senate waived the Budget Act. A more responsible course would have been to consider the budget resolution required by law.

External links:
Status of FY 2012 Appropriations
House Appropriations Committee
Senate Appropriations Committee
CBO: Status of FY 2012 House Appropriations
CBO: Status of FY 2012 Senate Appropriations
Statement by Sen. Jeff Sessions

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