Sequestration-House passes budget

Daniel SheehanThe House of Representatives has passed the so-called “sequestration relief” legislation by a wide and bipartisan vote of 332 to 94.  About 73 percent of House Republicans voted for the bill, while about 84 percent of House Democrats supported it. 

December 12th, the special rule allowing the Ryan-Murray plan to be packaged with a three-month Medicare “doc fix” and allowing other end-of-year legislation passed by an almost completely party-line vote of 226 to 195.

The Ryan-Murray/doc fix bill, which is now the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H. J. Res. 59, moves over to the Senate. Majority Leader Reid can call up this “privileged message” from the House at any time, preempting other business, and will do so sometime in the next week. We’re told Senate passage of the bill is certain, though the percentage of Senate Republicans who vote “no” on the bill could well be higher than in the House, since Minority Leader McConnell has announced his opposition and thus given cover to others.

The next step is for House Appropriations chairman Rogers and Senate Appropriations chairman Mikulski to agree on how to divide the Ryan-Murray deal’s $1.012 trillion in discretionary budget authority for fiscal year 2014 amongst each panel’s twelve subcommittees so that the subcommittee staffs can spend the remaining weeks of December and the first week of January drafting an omnibus FY14 appropriations law to be enacted by January 15.  It is likely that Rogers and Mikulski will give each subcommittee its number by sometime next week, though it is not clear if there will be a public announcement of the subcommittee totals.

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