Congress Lurches to the Finish Line with FY 2015 Budget Baton

Baton InlineThe House approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill for FY 2015 by a vote of 216 to 209 despite snags over everything from trucking regulations and pension funding to campaign funding and the Dodd-Frank law that tightened financial regulations in the wake of the financial meltdown that helped trigger the Great Recession. The bill heads to the Senate where a vote isn’t expected until Monday. The president has announced his support for the bill.

The government has been operating under continuing resolution (CR) since before the start of the October 1 fiscal year when Congress left for the campaign trail. The CR keeps the government open, usually at current spending levels, until Congress can approve the appropriations bills. The current CR runs out on December 11, and as a result Congress will likely pass a short term CR to avert a government shutdown that will carry the government through the weekend. 

The FY 2015 funding package level funds almost all domestic programs and any new spending will be directed to counter overseas threats ranging from ISIS to Ebola.

All federal agencies, except the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will be funded for the entire fiscal year. DHS, which is home to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, will only be funded through February as a consequence of the president’s immigration executive order.  Hence the creation of yet another horrible inside-the-beltway jargon word—Cromnibus. I won’t even go into what that is…but you can learn more here—Cromnibus.