FEATURED:

Senate girds for spending bill votes

The full Senate is set to take up the first of the 12 annual appropriations bills for 2015 during the week of June 16, according to Senate aides.

The Appropriations Committee has already approved bills for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture, and is set to vote on funding to or the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development as well as for the Commerce and Justice Departments on Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidManchin’s likely senior role on key energy panel rankles progressives Water wars won’t be won on a battlefield Poll finds most Americans and most women don’t want Pelosi as Speaker MORE (D-Nev.) has put aside four full weeks for the consideration of spending bills during the months of June and July, but aides still expect that at least some of the 12 bills will have to be put into so-called minibus packages to cut down on floor time.

At this point, the Senate is most likely to consider a minibus of some of the bills that will have moved through Appropriations, one leadership aide said.  

It remains an open question however whether the most controversial bills will come to the floor before the start of fiscal year 2015 on Oct. 1. The Labor and Health bill was already a tough lift but has been complicated by an administration request for more money to deal with child migrants streaming across the border.

The Interior and Environment bill will trigger tough amendment votes on climate change, including the Environmental Protection Agency's new power plant rule, that Democrats may want to avoid before the midterm elections.

The House, as has been typical for the last few years, is moving at a faster clip and is set to take up its own transportation and housing bill after this week's recess. It has already approved the Commerce and Justice measure as well as the Veterans Affairs bill and one governing the budget for Congress itself.