Senate Poised to Move on FY 17 Funding

The Senate has decided that despite the lack of a budget resolution for the coming year, they will begin to move FY 17 appropriations funding measures in mid-April.  This is a particularly early start for funding deliberations as both the House and Senate are expected to begin their “August Recess” at the end of the second week in July to allow Members to campaign.  Historically, the Senate waits for the House to act on funding measures before marking up their own legislation.

In an additional, unusual twist, the Senate may use some of the FY 16 appropriations bills that passed the House but were never considered by the Senate as the foundation for the FY 17 bills.  Revenue measures are required by the Constitution to begin in the House, a rule that House members typically extend to appropriations bills.  So, by using the old House bills, the Senate can avoid procedural hurdles that call for the House to act first.  This year, the House seems bogged down by differing approaches on how to develop a budget resolution for FY 17.

If the Senate does take this creative approach, the expectations are that some of the first appropriations bills that could move would be Energy & Water, Agriculture, and Military Construction-Veterans Administration.