Approps committees continue on collision course

The Senate’s Energy bill comes in at $33.3 billion, compared to the House version’s $32.1 billion. The Agriculture title has $20.7 billion in spending, whereas the House Appropriations Committee is aiming to produce a bill at $19.4 billion.
 

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The differing spending levels are the result of a decision by the Senate to craft bills meeting the spending ceilings in last August’s debt deal. The House is producing bills that come in at $19 billion less, as per the House-passed budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

The differences could lead to a shutdown crisis at some point and all but guarantees a continuing resolution before the election. House Republicans will likely push for a CR at the current spending level of $1.043 trillion or less, while Democrats are on track to insist on a CR at the $1.047 trillion in the August debt ceiling deal.

The House markup of the Commerce bill featured a moving debate about disability. Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) offered a policy rider for consideration to block implementation of a law requiring hotel and public pools to have permanent disability access. The rider is supported by the hospitality industry.
 
Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.), who walks slowly with a cane, spoke movingly of his own back injuries and the relief that swimming has provided. He said that without lifts, he would not be able to swim, and suggested the committee might want to hold off on the bill.
 
Carter and Reps. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) argued that the bill is designed to ensure pool operators have the option to install temporary or portable disability lifts. The amendment passed by voice vote.