House to vote on first 'minibus' spending bill next week

House to vote on first 'minibus' spending bill next week
© Greg Nash

House Democrats seeking to keep the lights on in the federal government will put a roughly $1 trillion package of spending bills on the floor next week, pursuing a "minibus" strategy of combining bills to try to pass them quickly. 

The first minibus is expected to include the two largest of the 12 annual appropriations bills: the defense bill and the labor, health and human services, and education bill.

It will also include legislation covering energy and water, the State Department and foreign operations spending bills and funding for the legislative branch.

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The five-bill package is expected to be brought to the House floor next Wednesday.

“While plans have not been finalized, we expect to begin consideration of a five-bill minibus next week,” a House Democratic aide told The Hill. 

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerCongress hunts for path out of spending stalemate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington braces for public impeachment hearings This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry MORE (D-Md.) announced the broader strategy in a "Dear Colleague" letter on Monday. 

"After the House Appropriations Committee completes its work, the House will consider appropriations legislation beginning on Wednesday, June 12," he wrote.

"I expect to bring appropriations bills to the Floor in several packages, as House Republicans did," Hoyer added.

The bills are likely to be approved by the Democratic-run House but would be opposed in their current form by the White House and the GOP-controlled Senate.

The House and Senate would need to enter into further negotiations to win a compromise measure.

While the Senate has yet to introduce a single appropriations bill, the House Appropriations Committee is set to complete the process of dropping its spending bills this week when it unveils its homeland security spending bill. It has already moved most of its annual spending bills through the full committee.

The homeland security bill, which deals with border security and any possible physical barriers along the southern border, was at the center of a 35-day government shutdown this year. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE initiated the shutdown, saying he would not sign spending bills that did not fund his proposed border wall to his satisfaction, but he backed off after the historic five-week closure.

Updated at 5:10 p.m.