House panel wraps up final 2020 spending bill as Senate lags

House panel wraps up final 2020 spending bill as Senate lags
© Greg Nash

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday advanced the $24.9 billion financial services and general government spending bill, the last of 12 annual spending bills to advance to the floor.

“With this bill we complete our full committee markups and continue an orderly appropriations process to get the people’s business done on time,” said Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyLobbying world Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Biden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs MORE (D-N.Y.), the committee's chairwoman.

The bill was approved 30-21 along party lines.

The committee moved the 12 bills at a breakneck pace and plans to pass them in the House before June is up. The first five will come to the floor Wednesday in one “mini-bus” package, followed by a second five-bill package next week. The remaining bills, including the financial services bill and the contentious homeland security spending bill that deals with immigration and the border, are likely to be packaged together as well.

The Senate, in the meantime, has lagged in its appropriations process and has yet to introduce a single appropriations bill for fiscal 2020, which begins Oct. 1. Senate leaders have opted to wait until they strike a deal on overall spending levels with the House and the White House, though progress has been scant.

The financial services bill approved Tuesday includes a 3.1 percent pay raise for federal workers, a $12 billion budget to upgrade and modernize the Internal Revenue Service, and $16.2 million for election security measures. 

The bill would also make Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients eligible for federal employment and ban the use of Treasury funds for President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE’s proposed border wall. Trump transferred $601 million from a Treasury fund toward the wall earlier this year after Congress refused to allocate the $5.7 billion he requested toward the cause.

Also included in the bill is a provision that would prevent financial institutions that provide banking to recreational and medical cannabis businesses in states where they are legal from being penalized. 

Democrats also left out riders from previous bills that blocked the District of Columbia from using local funds for abortion, marijuana legalization and needle exchange programs.