House prepares for appropriations ‘megabus’

House prepares for appropriations ‘megabus’

 

Move over minibus, it’s time for the megabus.

The House is preparing to consider the eight remaining appropriations bills all together come September. 

In July, it passed four bills in one go as a minibus -- a play on the term “omnibus,’ a bill that lumps all 12 spending measures together.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, sent out a “Dear Colleague” letter Monday advising fellow Republicans that committee would accept amendments over the August recess, but that the submission deadline would likely precede the House’s return.

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The House has not yet passed its budget resolution, but is aiming to do so in the beginning of September. If the chamber can pass all of its spending bills, it will be significantly ahead of the Senate, where only half the spending measures have even gone through the appropriations committee. The Senate Budget Committee has not yet considered that chamber’s budget resolution. 

The Senate also needs support from at least eight Democrats on the measures to overcome the filibuster. 

The House and Senate must agree on final spending bills before funding runs out in October, otherwise the government will shut down. The only alternative is a continuing resolution, which would fund the government for a short time at current levels, with some restrictions.

The eight bills being considered for the House megabus are: Agriculture; Commerce Justice, Science; Financial Services and General Governmental; Homeland Security; Interior; Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; State and Foreign Operations; Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development.