Before final passage, the House will have to hold a separate vote on the Veterans Affairs title of the bill. This is required by the rule approved earlier this month, and is something that House Appropriations Committee ranking member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) opposed in brief debate. Dicks said the separate vote requirement poses the risk that members might decide to vote against portions of the bill, which could complicate Senate passage.
However, the bill is not a controversial one. It increases funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs by 5.8 percent, an increase of $3.3 billion compared to fiscal 2011. It also cuts military construction spending by $2.6 billion, or 15.7 percent, compared to 2011, but much of this relates to anticipated base closure and realignment.
The Senate also returns at 2 p.m., and continues work on S. 782, the Economic Development Revitalization Act.
-- This story was updated at 10:06 a.m. to add information about LaTourette's amendment.