• The Senate Passed the First “Minibus” Spending Bill
  • November 9, 2011 | Author: B. Jeffrey Brooks
  • Law Firm: Adams and Reese LLP - Washington Office
  • The Senate passed the first “minibus” spending bill with a vote of 69-30.  This particular piece of legislation combined the fiscal 2012 Agriculture appropriations bill (HR 2112) with both the Commerce-Justice-Science and the Transportation-Housing, Urban Development appropriations bills.  The combination of these three appropriations measures created a $128 billion discretionary spending package.  A conference agreement for this “minibus” is expected in the coming days.

    Additionally, a second “minibus” appropriations package is expected to be introduced next week.  This will be the second time that the Senate has combined two spending bills that the House has not yet passed with one that has.  The Energy and Water appropriations bill (HR 2354) will be combined with State-Foreign Operations and Financial Services measures.  While the first “minibus” passed relatively quickly, the Energy and Water, State-Foreign Operations, and Financial Services “minibus” may result in a more contentious debate.  There is concern that amendments to the financial services portion of the “minibus” may scale back or deny funding for the Dodd-Frank financial services overhaul (PL 111-203).

    Congress is working against a November 18th deadline that was put in place by the Continuing Resolution (CR) that was passed last month.  However, a second CR is expected to be added to a “minibus” package, giving lawmakers time to pass all spending measures by mid-December.