Republicans are hoping to get around this problem with the help of language in the rule for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act, which the Rules Committee approved on Tuesday night.
Specifically, the rule holds that H.Con.Res. 34, which is the Ryan budget resolution, "shall have force and effect… in the House as though Congress has adopted such concurrent resolution." A non-technical description of the language says the Ryan resolution will be considered to be approved "until a conference report on the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2012 is adopted."
Democrats are likely to oppose the rule when it comes to the floor on Wednesday, as it assumes the lower budget levels of the Ryan proposal are in place for purposes of considering the appropriations bills. However, staffers agreed that the alternatives to operating this way are either to halt work on appropriations bills, or to have the Senate come to some position on the FY 2012 budget.
"If Democrats have a problem with levels the House passed, they should get their friends in the Senate to come to an agreement," the staffer said.
Assuming House Republicans secure passage of the rule for the DHS bill, the Ryan budget would be "deemed" as approved for every other appropriations bill that follows.
The DHS bill itself, H.R. 2017, maybe prove to be controversial, as it would cut $1 billion from DHS in FY 2012 compared to FY 2011 levels.