by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
Action continues on the FY 2016 budget this week, as the House debates the first two appropriations bills: Energy-Water and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs. Each will be considered under an open rule, which means any member may offer an amendment that complies with the standing rules of the House and the Budget Act. House Democrats may challenge the spending bills in the hopes of securing a new budget deal with Republicans and the White House to raise spending caps.
The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the $3.3 billion Legislative Branch spending bill, which funds House operations, Capitol Police and other related agencies; this measure passed the subcommittee last week with no amendments. The House Transportation-HUD appropriations subcommittee will mark up its $55.27 billion spending measure this week as well.
As previewed last week in the Washington Report, the House Appropriations Committee also released the 302(b) allocations, which set the spending levels for each of the 12 spending measures. These spending amounts conform to the top line spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The allocations, which total $1.017 trillion in base discretionary budget authority, are generally in line with current enacted spending levels, with a few adjustments.