October 19, 2017
The Senate Committee on Appropriations has four major appropriation bills remaining to consider for fiscal year (FY) 2018, including an appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. The bill determines the FY 2018 budget for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), among other agencies. During the week of October 17, both the subcommittee and full committee hearings to consider a Senate appropriations bill were canceled. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Committee, was not available to lead the scheduled hearings due to votes on the Senate floor and illness. The hearings have not yet been rescheduled.
Independent introduction and committee consideration of a Senate appropriations bill for the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies may not occur before the December 8 deadline for Congress to pass all discretionary spending for FY 2018. However, appropriators suggest that it would not be unusual to have this bill wrapped into a year-end spending deal before consideration and amendment at an open Committee on Appropriations hearing.
The House of Representatives passed all 12 of their FY 2018 appropriations bills in September and is waiting on the Senate to complete action on its slate of bills.
Sources: E&E News, Library of Congress, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations