The fiscal 2017 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure will be the first appropriations bill marked up in the House next week, according to the office of Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.).
Without an approved budget resolution to assign the House Military Construction-VA Subcommittee a topline spending figure for its bill, the panel has been given a “notional number” for its subcommittee allocation, reported CQ Roll Call.
On Wednesday, the House Budget Committee approved an FY 2017 budget resolution by a 20-16 vote, but at this point it is not clear if there is sufficient support in the Republican conference to pass it on the House floor. The budget blueprint adopts the spending levels for defense and non-defense programs outlined in last October’s two-year budget deal, which raised the discretionary spending caps by $30 billion for FY 2017. A vocal contingent of conservatives, though, is pressing for a lower overall topline.
In an attempt to gain the support of fiscal conservatives, Republican leaders are considering a package of rules changes aimed at curbing spending growth. One of the changes would strengthen a prohibition against appropriations for programs that have not been authorized, according to CQ. The other changes would bar the expansion of mandatory spending programs — including Medicare and Medicaid — and allow spending for such programs to be cut in appropriations bills.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) described the rules agreement as one “that will set in motion the machinery to amend the House rules to allow us to bring mandatory spending under control in the appropriations process and phase out the practice of funding unauthorized appropriations, which is forbidden in our own rules.”