Plan to Move Multiple Spending Bills May Require a New Stopgap
With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) decision to bring up a package of three fiscal 2012 spending bills Thursday, it appears the chamber’s leadership favors a strategy of moving spending bills in several smaller packages rather than one comprehensive omnibus measure.
The way forward still remains unclear, as the House has not indicated how it would respond to the tactic. The Republican leadership there may prefer limiting the number of votes on FY 2012 appropriations bills because of the difficulty in placating the caucus’ conservative faction when it comes to spending.
One consequence of the Senate advancing several small bundles of appropriations bills — if it opts to — likely would be the need to pass a second continuing resolution before the current one runs out Nov. 18. Relying on the “minibus” strategy means the Senate would not finish its work until December, reports CQ Today.
The package of three spending bills going to the Senate floor Thursday — agriculture, commerce-justice-science and transportation-housing and urban development — is expected to be approved quickly, according to CQ.