Omnibus Spending Bill Passes House

2017-09-18T10:11:11+00:00 September 18, 2017|
U.S. Capitol. (Credit: Jeffrey Zeldman)

(Click to enlarge)
U.S. Capitol. (Credit: Jeffrey Zeldman)

What It Was

The House voted to pass H.R.  3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018 along a largely party line vote (211-198).

Why It Matters

Congress has until December 8 to pass bills funding federal agencies for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 (thanks to a three-month continuing resolution approved two weeks ago) or the government shuts down. The House has now passed all 12 bills in one omnibus package.

Key Points

The $1.2 trillion spending bill includes a package of four less controversial spending bills passed prior to the August recess (including Defense and Energy and Water).

The House considered 342 amendments to the package of the remaining eight bills, which included spending for Commerce, Justice, and Science and Interior and the Environment. Last week, amendments removed language restricting funding for the National Ocean Policy (NOP) Executive Office (however, the bill does still include language prohibiting funding for implementation of NOP), restored $10.1 million for on-site information technology officers in each National Weather Service Forecast office and $1.2 million to eliminate staff reductions at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, and increased funding within the National Science Foundation research account for only the physical and biological science directorates by 0.5 percent.

Quotable

“The appropriations package before us this morning puts the House on the right path to completing its annual appropriations work for the entire federal government.” – House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)

“Majority leadership must immediately convene bipartisan discussions to develop a new budget agreement with realistic caps on defense and nondefense spending.” – House Appropriations Ranking Member Nita Lowey (NY-17)

Next Steps

The omnibus spending packages now goes to the Senate. However, the partisan nature of the bill makes passage in the Senate unlikely, where bipartisan agreement is necessary to avoid spending being blocked on a procedural measure where 60 votes are needed to proceed.

Find Out More

Full text of H.R. 3354 (Rules Committee print)

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