Wednesday, July 28, 2010

House Passes Slimmed-Down Supplemental Appropriations Bill

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the Senate’s version of the supplemental appropriations bill, HR 4899, by a vote of 308-114. The Senate bill is set at almost $60 billion, and it provides funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, disaster relief, and the Veteran’s Administration. The final bill does not include the $23 billion that was included in a previous House version (which did not pass in the Senate) for domestic activities, including $10 billion for education jobs and $4.95 billion for the Pell Grant shortfall. It is unclear whether Congressional leadership will attempt to include funding for education jobs or the Pell Grant shortfall in another bill, such as a small business bill. The supplemental appropriations bill is now headed to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations marked up its bill for FY2011 and passed the bill by a voice vote yesterday. The bill provides over $170 billion in discretionary funding, and $66.4 billion is allocated for the Department of Education. The bill provides funds for a $5,550 Pell Grant maximum, but it does not contain funds to address the $5.7 billion Pell Grant shortfall. This year, the Senate will provide over $2.7 billion more than the FY2010 allocation, but this amount is still almost $1 billion less than the Administration’s request. Further, it appears that the bill does not fund the Career Pathways Program. The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to hold a full committee markup tomorrow, but it is very unlikely that the Senate and Congress will consider a final appropriations bill until after the fall elections.

The Subcommittee released a summary of the appropriations bill, which can viewed at:

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