Senate Passes Cromnibus Appropriations Bill

SENATE PASSES CROMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS 56-40 AVERTING SHUTDOWN

Late last night, after a week of considerable debate, the Senate passed the CRomnibus Appropriations Bill to fund most of the government through next September 30th with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security which is funded with a CR through February. Like the House, the vote split both the Senate Democrats and Republicans with many Democrats opposed to a rider overturning financial regulations and many Republicans opposed to the limited response to the Presidents’s executive action on immigration. Ultimately, 24 Republicans joined 32 Democrats to pass the bill with 24 Democrats and 18 Republicans opposing the bill. The bill will now be sent to the President to sign.

House and Senate Unveil $1.013 Trillion Spending Bill

HOUSE AND SENATE UNVEIL $1.013T “CROMNIBUS” SPENDING BILL

On the evening of December 9th, just days before funding for the government was set to expire on December 11th, the House and Senate released what is being called the FY 15 “CRomnibus” spending bill (H.R. 83) to fund most of the government through September 2015. The 1,603-page bill provides funding for 11 of the 12 appropriations bills through September 2015 and provides a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) through February for the Department of Homeland Security in response to the President’s recent executive actions regarding immigration. The overall spending level of 1.013T was previously set by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (also known as the Ryan-Murray budget agreement), and the bill adheres to these limits.

In addition to the spending bills, a number of “policy riders” have been attached to the bill including increasing caps on federal campaign contributions to political parties and overturning some of the regulations of the “Dodd-Frank” financial reform legislation. These two provisions in particular had many Democrats voicing their opposition to the bill. Meanwhile, many conservative Republicans were expressing opposition over the immigration issue believing that the bill did not go far enough in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Still, the CRomnibus is expected to pass the House on December 11th by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats. However, a short-term CR will also have to be passed by the House and Senate to provide the Senate a few extra days to complete consideration of the bill, likely on December 12th or 13th.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) jointly stated: “After months of thorough, business-like, sometimes tough but always civil negotiations, we have reached a responsible, bipartisan and bicameral agreement on funding for government operations for 2015. More than two months into the fiscal year, it’s time we end government on autopilot so we can turn our focus to meeting the day to day needs of Americans and long-range needs of the nation.”

For Indian country, a completed Appropriations bill will provide modest increases in a number of important areas including the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service. Below are links to the Bill and the Explanatory Statement.

House Rules Committee Print of the Bill and the accompanying Explanatory Statements

Bill-by-Bill Summaries from the House Appropriations Committee

Summary from the Senate Appropriations Committee