The House will begin consideration of the first two fiscal 2016 appropriations bills next week, marking the earliest start to the process since 1974.

House GOP leadership expects the final reconciled budget agreement between the House and Senate to be completed before starting work on the appropriations bills. Members would have to vote on the budget conference deal first.

The first two appropriations measures slated for floor consideration are among the easiest to pass: funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs and military construction projects, and funding for the Department of Energy and water infrastructure.


During the weekly floor colloquy with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire Trump is out of touch with Republican voters on climate change The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Iran, Russia election bombshell; final Prez debate tonight MORE (R-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHoyer lays out ambitious Democratic agenda for 2021, with health care at top Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate Trump orders aides to halt talks on COVID-19 relief MORE (D-Md.) warned that adhering to funding levels set by sequestration would prevent Congress from passing all 12 of the annual appropriations bills. The House passed seven out of 12 fiscal 2015 appropriations bills last year, while the Senate passed none.

"My own view is that if we stay at sequester levels, we will not be able to pass bills and the president will not sign them," Hoyer said.

McCarthy kept his response concise.

"I thank the gentleman for yielding and appreciate his comments and will continue to work together to get our appropriations process finished," McCarthy said.

Hoyer also questioned when, and if, the House would take up legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance U.S. exports abroad. The bank's charter expires at the end of June.

The Maryland Democrat noted that he worked in the past with McCarthy's predecessor, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), to reauthorize the bank. 

"I'm someone who believes that is critical in terms of our exports," Hoyer said. "Does the gentleman see any prospect of that bill coming to the floor any time in the near future?"

McCarthy has previously expressed opposition to reauthorizing the bank, saying that it's "one that government does not have to be involved in." But he declined to offer specifics on when such as measure might hit the floor.

"I know the respect the gentleman has, as I do, for regular order and working through committees," McCarthy said, noting the House Financial Services Committee is still holding hearings about the Export-Import Bank. "Nothing is scheduled at this point, but if anything comes forward, I will notify."

Hoyer argued that a majority of the House, virtually all Democrats and a bloc of Republicans, supports reauthorizing the bank, even if House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) doesn't.

"I would urge the majority leader to urge the chairman, who I think does not enjoy the support of the majority of this House on his position. I know you may share that position, but I really do believe the House has a position that we ought to pass the Export-Import Bank. And we need to do it sooner rather than later," Hoyer said.