Washington Budget and Appropriations Outlook

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The House

The House of Representatives has passed 10 of its 12 appropriations bills. Only Homeland Security and Legislative Branch have not been considered on the House floor. Both bills are very controversial. The Homeland Security Bill has been described as "too moderate for the progressives and too progressive for the moderates." The Legislative Branch bill has a number of controversial provisions involving DACA employees in the House, removal of statues and busts from the Capitol building, to name two. Also lingering in the background is the possibility of a pay raise and or a cola for members.

The Senate

The Senate has not passed any FY21 Appropriations Bills as of the Labor Day break. The problem relates to the parallel consideration of the next round of COVID funding. The Republicans have insisted on assurances from the Democrats that no COVID or Police Reform Amendments would be considered as amendments to the regular bills. The Democrats have been unwilling to give such assurances given the difficulty the Senate has experienced in advancing the next round of COVID bills.

Our information is that the Senate has bipartisan agreement on at least six bills, and it is our belief they are writing the remaining six in committee as of this publication.

The CR and The Path Forward

Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin have announced agreement on a so call "clean" continuing resolution (CR). The House has reported a bill that continues government funding through December 11. (See here for a section by section summary) The bill, which is reported but not yet voted upon, contains anomalies and laws needing to be extended. It is expected the bill will be considered this week and sent to the Senate, again with a plan of avoiding a government shutdown.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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