Few details released on the final deal
After several meetings yesterday, HAC and SAC leaders announced they had a deal to complete all 12 of the FY 20 appropriations bills that will increase defense and domestic budgets by $49 billion, as Roll Call reports:
“As of Wednesday, appropriators still had more than 100 open items left to resolve with partisan disagreements about border wall spending still open.
“A series of meetings and offers led to a somewhat frantic Thursday, with Lowey and Shelby meeting with House ranking member Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Senate ranking member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., around 10 a.m. before Lowey and Shelby went into a meeting with Pelosi and Mnuchin.
“Republicans sent a proposal to Democrats during the afternoon, after which Lowey, Shelby, Granger and Leahy met again to hash out the final elements.”
Following acceptance of the deal, HAC and SAC leaders announced little to nothing about what was in their agreement. Reports are that the final bills will be released on Monday.
What we do know:
President Trump will get $1.375 billion for border barrier construction, significantly less than the $5 billion the White House requested. Congress will not backfill $3.6 billion in military construction funds that the White House had taken under its emergency declaration. Trump will be able to retain his ability to transfer funding from Pentagon accounts to the border wall.
Politico noted what is still unknown:
“It’s also unclear how the deal will treat other hot-button issues, such as federal spending on gun violence research, and certain parochial projects pursued by congressional leaders.
“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wanted the funding deal to include language that would allow more water to be stored in the Shasta Lake reservoir in Northern California – an increase in water height that many Democrats and environmental groups oppose. According to a Republican aide, it would be fair to include the Shasta Lake provision if Pelosi gets her wish of including language making $10 million available to the Presidio project in San Francisco.”
Bloomberg also highlighted undecided issues:
“Coal Miners Pension Measure Still Needs a Vehicle: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he doesn’t see much opposition to his demand for a vote on a measure addressing coal miners’ pensions and health care. The provision could ride on a spending bill, though Manchin said he’s open to any vehicle as long as it passes.”
“Senators are pressing to insert language to set enforceable limits on ‘forever’ chemicals in the end-of-the-year spending bill after lawmakers failed to do so in the annual defense authorization bill.”
Earlier this week, it was rumored that Congress will roll the 12 appropriations bills into two minibuses – one addressing security and the other will contain the remaining bills.
Roll Call reports that minibuses over an omnibus bill seem to be the preferred vehicle for floor action:
“‘It is my hope that we will consider those appropriations bills on the floor on Tuesday; perhaps a series of minibus packages to fund all of government for the remainder of the fiscal year,’ House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said Thursday afternoon.
“Hoyer said he’d discuss with Lowey how many packages they plan to put on the floor. Both parties have pledged to avoid another omnibus bill encompassing all 12 bills since the fiscal 2018 law was enacted in March 2018.”
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