DESPITE PROGRESS ON APPROPRIATIONS, MOST EXPECT CR FOR ’19
The House Appropriations Committee marked-up its last FY’19 spending bill early this morning, marking good progress on getting appropriations measures ready for the House floor. The Senate, meanwhile, is working on an appropriations “mini-bus” that would combine a number of smaller appropriations bills with the idea that they would be easy to pass sooner rather than later. Don’t bet on it. While the Senate may stay in session for part of this August, the House is scheduled to depart tomorrow and stay out until after Labor Day. That, combined with the traditional break for the high Jewish holidays in September, will leave less than three weeks on the legislative calendar to pass any spending bills. Appropriations watchers hold out some hope that a few spending bills, such as those for the VA and military construction, could pass before Congress adjourns for mid-term elections in October. Larger measures, especially the Department of Homeland Security bill, are, frankly, political footballs that each party would rather have to kick around during the election. Post-election, it all depends on whether Republicans feel they can promote policy changes via spending measures (technically a no, no) or, if the House changes control, punt till the next Congress comes into town in January. The good news is that you and your federal customer should be used to all of this by now. Stay tuned.