How will Congress end the FY 20 appropriations?
CQ posted an article this week that said rumors to extend the next CR into late January or early February are dead. Instead, the more popular date for the new CR is through Dec. 13 or 20. Besides determining a new CR date, the parties need to resolve outstanding differences between each other. Democrats want more funding for the FY 20 Labor-HHS bill:
“Senate Democrats last month proposed adding $3.3 billion to the bill’s allocation, paid for by cuts to the DHS bill, but the GOP countered with just $1 billion more – offset through surplus Pell Grant funds within the Labor-HHS-Subcommittee jurisdiction. The House L-HHS bill, written before the budget deal was passed, provides $14 billion more than the Senate bill.
The parties also disagree on funding for the Trump wall. The White House is asking for $8.6B for wall construction. The Senate Homeland Security bill appropriates $5B. The House bill provides no funding for new physical barriers. CQ states that, “Passing all the bills before the new year would require a compromise on the wall and transfer authority.”
“One option proposed by Democrats is to use emergency funds, cap adjustments or both to free up discretionary funds to allow for a higher Labor-HHS-Education allocation. Republicans have not expressed any willingness to go along with this. They say it would involve reopening negotiations over the budget deal that specified adjustments above the caps for war funds and 2020 census costs.
“Another possible option would be to spread funds for wall construction over several different bills, including the massive Defense bill as well as Homeland Security and Military Construction-VA, allowing resources for the wall to take a smaller bite out of each bill.”
The pressure is on to reach some sort of a deal because there are only eight legislative days left before the current CR expires on November 21.
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