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More Spending Bills on the Move

Were we optimistic earlier in the year when we asked, “Could it Be? A Normal Budget Year?

Yes.

It’s the beginning of July and the House, at least, is supposed to be done with its spending plans for fiscal year 2014, which begins October 1st. But the House and Senate are just beginning to move spending bills.

We may not have that normal budget year we hoped for. Instead, we may get rushed spending decisions and a “continuing resolution” or omnibus spending bill instead of careful consideration to federal spending.

But here’s where we stand now.

The process began in mid-March, when we featured the House and Senate budgets, a special treat we haven’t seen in a few years. We featured them twice, as a matter of fact.

We also got giddy about the arrival of the president’s budget, at long last.

When the actual bills that cause money to be spent started moving at the beginning of June, we hailed the beginning of spending season and the bills that were first out of the gate, H.R. 2216, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014, and H.R. 2217, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014, which both moved in the House.

The brought us to last week when we noted the cancellation of debate on the agriculture spending bill in the House.

Now a couple more bills are starting to move, including Senate bills.

The House has added H.R. 2397, The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014, to its roster. That bill would spend about $5,600 per U.S. family on military operations next year.

The Senate has a Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development spending bill now—it spends $1,100 per U.S. family—and an energy and water development bill ($380 per family).

The House and Senate both have agriculture spending bills that they will soon consider. That allows for some comparison between the plans of the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The House plans to spend about $490 per U.S. family on agriculture programs (a significant part of which is food stamps), and the Senate plans on spending of about $1,200. Now there are some differences!

Below is a chart showing what spending bills are out there at this point. Let your members of Congress and senators know what you think, of course. They can’t do your bidding if you don’t let them know what you bid for. We’ll update you and the chart as spending season continues…

Bill House Senate
Budget Resolution H. Con.Res. 25 S. Con. Res. 8
Agriculture H.R. 2410 S. 1244
Commerce/Justice/Science
Defense H.R. 2397
Energy & Water S. 1245
Financial Services
Homeland Security H.R. 2217
Interior & Environment
Labor/HHS/Education
Legislative Branch
Military/Veterans H.R. 2216
State/Foreign Operations
Transportation/HUD S. 1243

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