June 28, 2018
In June 2018, the House and Senate consecutively passed the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 5895) to make progress on the appropriations process before the fiscal year (FY) 2019 deadline of September 30, 2018. The bill, dubbed a “minibus”, combines three appropriations bills: Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019; Legislative branch Appropriations Act, 2019; and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019.
While the House version passed on a near party line vote (235 to 179) on June 8, the Senate’s amended version passed by a vote of 87 to 9 on June 25. Both versions of the bill include increased funding for the Department of Energy (DOE); however, the total funding and distribution among programs as well as the additional legislative proposals – known as riders – differ between the chambers’ bills. On June 28, the House named conferees – members of Congress who will negotiate final language – to work with Senate conferees, yet to be named, on reconciling the versions passed by each chamber.
More FY 2019 appropriations bills are slated to be considered in July, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowing to shorten the Senate’s August recess to proceed with appropriations legislation and nominee confirmation.
Sources: E&E News; Library of Congress; The Hill.