The House and Senate are set to adopt three combined appropriations bills, dubbed “Minibus,” and send them to President Obama by the end of this week. Under an agreement reached earlier between leaders of the House and Senate the appropriations bills include
The combined bills total just over $180 billion in annual spending.
The federal government remains under a Continuing Resolution (CR) until this Friday, November 18. With this deadline fast approaching, lawmakers will attach another CR to the Minibus in order to keep the federal government operating thrrough mid-December. Congress will adjourn on Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday and upon their return continue working to complete the remaining annual appropriations bills.
Minibus conferees have been working to iron out the differences of the bills between the two legislative chambers for the past two weeks. But the minibus will not pass in the U.S. House without Democratic support. A group of fiscally conservative lawmakers and House freshman Republicans may vote against the appropriations bills because it exceeds the limits adopted earlier in the House budget resolution.
For the Agriculture bill, most of the differences have been resolved between the House and Senate versions. While details remain sketchy, many agriculture department programs will be funded at the higher Senate level. The Agriculture appropriations bill for FY 2012 (adopted by the US House) contains discretionary spending for the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) totaling $17.25 billion. This is a cut of over $2.7 billion from FY 2011 level and over $5 billion below the President’s budget request.
The US Senate Committee-adopted version totals $19.78 billion. This is a reduction of $330 million below the Fiscal Year 2011 level.
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