minibus

Podcast: Why the Just Passed Minibus Is Going Nowhere
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 27

Rep. William Hurd's SMART Act would require DHS to have a comprehensive border wall plan before construction. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers spent a considerable amount of time last week working on and passing four security-related spending bills in a bundle — a so called minibus — that would provide money for President Trump’s border wall and pay for increased security for lawmakers. But all that effort was probably a waste of time absent a budget deal, says CQ’s appropriations reporter Ryan McCrimmon.

House to Vote on CBO Staff Cuts
Appropriations amendment would eliminate budget analysis division

Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith, who led the effort to reintroduce the Holman rule, took the first crack at using it by offering an amendment to cut Congressional Budget Office staff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House this week will vote on whether to eliminate the positions of 89 Congressional Budget Office employees in what will be its first vote under the so-called Holman rule that Republicans in the chamber reinstated on a trial basis earlier this year.

The Holman rule allows members to offer amendments to appropriations bills designed to reduce the scope and size of government.

Late Night Votes Ahead: House Considering 4-Bill Spending Package Before Recess

Republican House leadership is confident they have the votes to pass a four-bill “minibus” spending package before heading out for the August recess. They’re slated to leave town Friday, July 28. The minibus includes Defense, Energy-Water, Legislative Branch and Military Construction-VA funding (66 percent of discretionary spending for the government), as well as funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, according to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. See the video for more details on the House’s busy week.

Ryan, McConnell’s Spending Hopes Could Be Dashed — Again
Time, inadequate preparation and Democrats spell doom for minibus strategy

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hope to finish the year with a series of small appropriations packages. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want to finish the year’s spending negotiations with a series of small appropriations packages known as minibuses. But a short legislative calendar, a lack of preparation, and Democratic concerns about the piecemeal approach make that goal a difficult one to achieve.

If the Republican leaders’ minibus dreams do not come true and Congress instead passes a massive omnibus appropriations measure — or even worse, another continuing resolution — it would be a pitiful bookend to a year in which Ryan and McConnell had listed restoring regular order to the appropriations process as the No. 1 item on their to-do list.