|October 28, 2011|
Previously published on October 22, 2011
In the early hours this morning, the Senate invoked cloture on the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD “minibus” (HR 2122). As you may recall, the Senate introduced this combined spending bill last week as an alternative to an omnibus, which would have encompassed all twelve appropriations bills. After the procedural vote this morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled a vote on passage of the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD “minibus” for November 1st.
Over the past week, the Senate worked through a large number of amendments. Just yesterday, votes were held on more than a dozen amendments. Notably, two amendments to increase emergency disaster relief funding were adopted: one would increase disaster relief funding in the Agriculture spending bill by $110 million, while another would increase emergency aid funding for Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration by $365 million. Additionally, an amendment to extend recently expired conforming loan limits for mortgages backed by the Federal Government was passed by a vote of 60-38. The ceiling on mortgage loan limits was originally raised in 2008 to boost the housing market.
The Senate has a scheduled recess for next week, and will then hold votes on the remaining “minibus” amendments upon their return. We will continue to monitor this and update you accordingly.