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Capitol Correspondence - 06.16.20

Senate to Begin Appropriations Mark-Ups at the End of June

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As reported by RollCall:

“Lawmakers in the coming weeks will begin deciding how to spend another $1.4 trillion in annual appropriations, diving into debates over funding President Donald Trump’s border wall, public health programs and more after coronavirus-related delays sidelined the process earlier this spring.

Dividing that pie is already shaping up to be a partisan battle, and that’s before any new election-year fights — such as funding for law enforcement in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer — enter the picture.

The Senate will begin its fiscal 2021 markups the week of June 22, a rare case of that chamber starting the appropriations process first rather than the House. In an unusual move that could speed things up, Senate subcommittees have been given the option to skip their markups and go straight to full committee, according to a Senate GOP aide who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

The House will follow the week of July 6 — the latest start for that chamber since at least 1985, according to legislative records. Still, House lawmakers are aiming to quickly jump ahead of their Senate counterparts and pass most, if not all, of their dozen bills before the August recess.

That’s easier to do in the House where the majority can pass bills on party-line votes if necessary. It usually takes 60 votes to end debate on spending bills in the Senate, making bipartisanship a must with the current 53-47 split in that chamber.”