Capitol Correspondence - 07.22.19

Senate Aims for September Funding Decisions as Administration Negotiates Budget Deal with Congress

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ANCOR is sharing these articles by Politico and CQ News because it is important for our membership to keep track of the overall progress of the federal budget process. The federal budget includes funding for Medicaid, which funds the majority of disability supports.

As written by CQ News:

“The Senate Appropriations Committee likely won’t mark up any of its fiscal 2020 spending bills before leaving town for the August recess — the first time in more than three decades the panel hasn’t debated any of the annual spending bills before the customary summer break.

The decision to hold back Senate appropriations bills in the absence of a spending caps agreement has set a markedly different pace for the committee than last year, when it sent all 12 of its bills to the floor before the break began.

But all of that could turn on its head in September, when the panel will likely hold marathon markups for all of its bills — provided congressional leaders and the Trump administration can agree on defense and nondefense spending caps in the next few weeks.


September is going to be a tighter schedule, however, given the chamber doesn’t reconvene until Sept. 9. And appropriators will also need to process a temporary stopgap funding bill, assuming that isn’t also dealt with as part of spending caps and debt ceiling legislation this month. Another supplemental spending bill is always possible as well, after the summer hurricane season and other potential calamities.”

In the broader context in which the above committee discussions occurred, Congressional party leaders have been negotiating with the White House for a longer-term budget deal and an increase on the debt limit ceiling, which the United States will soon hit. As written by Politico:

“The Trump administration and congressional leaders have ‘reached an agreement’ on overall spending levels in a two-year deal to raise the budget caps, in addition to settling on a two-year debt limit increase, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday morning.

The talks are now focused on offsets sought by the Trump administration for spending increases, in addition to ‘structural issues,’ Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box.’


Mnuchin said he plans to talk to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi later Thursday after days of ongoing negotiations over the phone.

Following on the Treasury secretary’s comments, Pelosi said the deal is still ‘alive,’ adding that ‘nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. But we are on our way. We have a path.’

A senior administration official, speaking on background, said the Trump administration is seeking about $150 billion in offsets.”