August 22, 2018

Appropriations Keep Moving


  • With passage of the Defense and Labor-HHS-Education minibus, the Senate will have passed 9 of 12 spending bills, containing nearly 90 percent of discretionary spending for fiscal year 2019.
  • The Labor-HHS-Education bill has not been debated and passed on the Senate floor since 2003, and the Defense bill has not seen initial consideration and passage on the floor since 2009.
  • Restoring regular order to the appropriations process is an important step toward reasserting Congress’ oversight of federal spending.

The Senate is on the verge of passing nearly 90 percent of discretionary spending through regular order. Of the 12 bills ordinarily passed by Congress to fund government operations, the Senate will have passed 9 before the end of the current fiscal year. Bills have been brought to the floor, senators have had a chance to amend them, and the full Senate has passed them with due consideration.

This week the Senate is considering the minibus appropriations bill for the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. It will be the first time in 15 years – since 2003 – that the Senate has passed the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill on the Senate floor. The Senate has also not had initial floor debate and passage of the Defense bill since 2009.

Senate Has Debated 90 Percent of Discretionary Spending