As FY 2018 winds to a close, the question of the current status of the FY 2019 Appropriations Bills is foremost on the minds of those both inside and outside The Beltway. Congress has chosen to bundle the various FY 2019 Appropriations Bills into a series of Minibus Acts, alongside several separate appropriations bills, all of which are in various states of completion.
* H.R.5515 “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019”- Passed in both the House and the Senate, signed into law by President Trump during a ceremony at Fort Drum, New York. It should be noted that President Trump also released a signing statement to accompany the bill in which he disputes several provisions that he views as encroaching on the President’s Executive Authority.
* H.R.6147 “Interior, Environment, Financial Services and General Government, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2019” (note that H.R.6147 passed through the House under the title “Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019”)- Although both Chambers passed H.R.6147, the House and Senate versions differ significantly, as evidenced in the differing titles. Most notably, the House did not include THUD funding as a part of their Minibus Package, while the Senate added THUD funding. A reconciliation committee is required to resolve differences between the two bills before the final bill can be sent to the President’s desk.
* H.R.5895 “Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019”- The bill has passed through both Chambers and the House has convened a committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
* S.3109 “Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2019”- While the Senate has brought their Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to the floor for a vote, the House has not.
* S.3108/H.R.6385 “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2019”- Introduced in both Chambers, floor votes have yet to occur.
* S.3158/H.R.6470 “Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019”- Introduced in both Chambers, floor votes have yet to occur.
* S.3072/H.R.5952 “Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019”- Introduced in both Chambers, floor votes have yet to occur.
* S.3159/H.R.6157 “Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2019”- The House passed their version of the DOD Appropriations Bill, but the Senate has not had a floor for a vote, the House has not.
While the Senate continues to hold floor votes on bills and outstanding nominees put forward by the Trump Administration (including Robert Hunter Kurtz for the position of Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Public and Indian Housing at HUD), the House is currently in its August Recess Period until September 4th. The current Fiscal Year ends on September 30th, leaving Congress with a tight window to resolve any outstanding differences in the FY 2019 Funding Bills so that they may be sent to President Trump before a government shutdown occurs. As a side note, President Trump has repeatedly threatened that he would allow a government shutdown to occur if key immigration demands are not met, including full funding for a wall running the length of our Southern Border.