Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 5, 2015

Spending Markup Puts Budget Fissures on Full Display

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Even as Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski recognized the bit of history made Thursday when she convened her first full committee markup as Appropriations chairwoman, she quickly recognized that a rough road lies ahead.

In reflecting on the work of her distinguished predecessors at the helm of the appropriations panel — all of them men —  the Maryland Democrat said in her opening remarks that she’s well-aware her new gavel is “not a magic wand.”

That became immediately apparent when top GOP appropriator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama explained that all of his members would oppose the top-line spending level of $1.058 trillion in the allocation level offered by Mikulski.

“The American people expect and deserve a Congress that can put aside its differences and work on their behalf. To be frugal but not heartless. To accomplish good in the national interest,” Mikulski said. “I regret that we disagree on our spending allocation and I look forward to moving bipartisan bills through this committee in the spirit of cooperation and collegiality.”

Shelby expressed the view that the committee’s work “must be guided by the law as it currently stands.” He had a counterproposal for the so-called 302(b) allocations to total $967 billion for fiscal 2014, but that didn’t break down spending by appropriations subcommittee, rather authorizing the committee to make compliant allocations. Shelby also announced his intent to oppose bills that don’t comply with the lower level. Democratic allocations were adopted on a party-line vote, as expected, but six senators opposed each of the first two bills debated Thursday.

The lack of a breakdown in Shelby’s offering opened up the Republicans to criticism from the Democrats, since the budget law actually has separate limits for security and nonsecurity spending levels, a point highlighted at the Appropriations Committee markup Thursday by Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Murray and her staff have been highlighting the fact that at the end of the day, the House spending levels aren’t actually compliant with the law, either. The Pentagon budget would be subject to sequester under the House Defense Department spending level.

“The [2011 budget deal] says that sequestration is split evenly between defense and nondefense. It sets strict caps for each that kick in if we don’t get an agreement: $498 billion for defense, and $469 billion for nondefense,” Murray said. “The House Budget and spending bills bust right through that defense cap. And to do that while keeping to their top-line number, they slash investments in families, communities, infrastructure and health care to devastating levels.”

“They’re shifting funds around to make some of their bills appear workable, at the same levels as the Senate Budget. But this will leave the remaining bills so unreasonably low that they will never be taken to the House floor,” said Murray, who also serves as chairwoman of the subcommittee that funds the Transportation and HUD departments.

At one point, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., sought to press Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri on whether he believed the House allocations were in accordance with the budget law.

“Do you think the House of Representatives is operating under the law that Sen. Murray outlined?” Landrieu asked.

“I don’t know what difference it makes,” Blunt replied, before explaining that his view was that it was important that the Senate committee adhere to the budget law’s requirements regardless of what the House might be doing.

Democrats also took advantage of yet another opportunity to call for Republicans to consent to getting the annual budget resolution into conference with the House to come up with a final baseline for fiscal 2014 spending.

Under the admittedly somewhat mythical practice of “regular order,” the House and Senate would have agreed to a budget resolution that directed the Appropriations Committee to do its work at an agreed-on level.

Mikulski said she intended to get all of the bills through her committee by the August recess, an aggressive timeline given the budgeting woes. She also said she would “actually, actually try to get bills on the floor in July.” That return to regular order would be a restoration of what seems like a forgotten practice.

Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., offered an amendment to the first spending bill backing a conference committee on the budget resolution. Repeated attempts to do so on the floor have been stymied by some Republicans who want a guarantee that the debt limit won’t be raised through budget reconciliation.

“Despite repeated requests for unanimous consent, there have been objections by a number of senators on the Republican side on the floor. I think that’s unfortunate. I think it’s stopped us from moving forward,” Durbin said. “Maybe we can talk some sense to our colleagues about getting to a budget resolution.”

Durbin’s amendment split panel Republicans, with five GOP appropriators supporting the effort.

Comments (48)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    11:48 a.m.

    Thanks for some other wonderful post. Where else may anyone get that type of information in such an ideal manner of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such information.

  2. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    11:05 a.m.

    You are a very bright person!

  3. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    10:21 a.m.

    I get pleasure from, cause I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  4. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    1:37 p.m.

    I am glad to be one of several visitants on this great site (:, appreciate it for putting up.

  5. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    1:09 p.m.

    I have been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours lately, yet I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net might be much more helpful than ever before.

  6. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    10:55 p.m.

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  7. Anonymous

    July 14, 2015
    1:50 a.m.

    Almost all of whatever you mention is astonishingly legitimate and that makes me wonder why I had not looked at this with this light previously. This piece really did turn the light on for me personally as far as this particular subject goes. But there is one particular position I am not necessarily too cozy with and while I make an effort to reconcile that with the core theme of your position, let me see exactly what all the rest of your subscribers have to point out.Well done.

  8. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    5:40 a.m.

    You have noted very interesting points! ps nice internet site. “I hate music, especially when it’s played.” by Jimmy Durante.

  9. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    7:03 a.m.

    There is noticeably a bundle to find out about this. I assume you made certain nice factors in options also.

  10. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    8:12 a.m.

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  11. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    4:09 p.m.

    I¦ve learn a few excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you place to create one of these excellent informative web site.

  12. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    9:52 p.m.

    I am very happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  13. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    6:05 a.m.

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  14. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    11:24 a.m.

    I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A small number of my blog audience have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any solutions to help fix this issue?

  15. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:38 p.m.

    Some really interesting points you have written.Helped me a lot, just what I was looking for : D.

  16. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:48 a.m.

    I am typically to running a blog and i really recognize your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your website and keep checking for brand spanking new information.

  17. Anonymous

    July 26, 2015
    12:19 a.m.

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  18. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    10:15 a.m.

    Really excellent visual appeal on this website , I’d value it 10 10.

  19. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    2:15 p.m.

    I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  20. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    5:21 p.m.

    Hey very cool web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find numerous useful information here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  21. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    3:02 p.m.

    Hello there, You have performed a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and in my opinion suggest to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    11:13 a.m.

    I simply wished to thank you so much again. I am not sure what I might have implemented in the absence of the type of aspects provided by you on such a field. Completely was a very distressing scenario in my opinion, however , taking a look at the specialized strategy you processed the issue forced me to leap with happiness. Extremely thankful for the support and as well , believe you recognize what an amazing job you’re doing teaching people using a blog. Most probably you haven’t encountered any of us.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 3, 2015
    9:25 a.m.

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really helpful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to give something again and aid others such as you aided me.

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 4, 2015
    7:43 p.m.

    I just like the helpful information you supply to your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I am moderately sure I will be informed many new stuff right here! Good luck for the following!

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    5:45 a.m.

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, would check this… IE still is the market leader and a good portion of people will miss your excellent writing due to this problem.

  26. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    1:04 p.m.

    My brother suggested I may like this web site. He used to be entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    2:15 a.m.

    Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    12:10 p.m.

    You made a number of nice points there. I did a search on the matter and found most folks will agree with your blog.

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 11, 2015
    1:21 p.m.

    you’ve got an awesome weblog right here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my weblog?

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 18, 2015
    1:15 a.m.

    Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Anonymous

    Aug. 23, 2015
    6:54 p.m.

    This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  32. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    1:01 a.m.

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and precise effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and under no circumstances seem to get one thing done.

  33. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    1:47 a.m.

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  34. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    1:26 p.m.

    hi!,I like your writing very much! share we communicate more about your article on AOL? I need an expert on this area to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  35. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    10:59 a.m.

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such excellent info being shared freely out there.

  36. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    5:16 p.m.

    You are a very bright individual!

  37. Anonymous

    Sept. 12, 2015
    11 p.m.

    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Kudos

  38. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    6:34 a.m.

    I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!…

  39. esurance renters insurance

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10:27 a.m.

    Try discounts up to 40 percent on auto or home insurance, get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  40. statefarm auto insurance

    Sept. 20, 2015
    3:55 p.m.

    We offer you huge discounts, just enter your zip code and save up to 40 percent on auto and home insurance policies. Its easy and fast to do by 5 digit zip code.

  41. Anonymous

    Sept. 21, 2015
    6:22 a.m.

    Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great design. “Make the most of your regrets… . To regret deeply is to live afresh.” by Henry David Thoreau.

  42. amica insurance phone

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:58 a.m.

    Get auto and home insurance policies

  43. amax insurance carrollton

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:56 p.m.

    It takes only few minutes to get quotes and save on home or auto insurance policies.

  44. federated insurance florida

    Sept. 23, 2015
    7:13 a.m.

    Save on cheapest rates with out insurance companies. Get quotes on home and auto insurance by zip code.

  45. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    7:58 a.m.

    I’d need to verify with you here. Which is not something I normally do! I take pleasure in studying a put up that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  46. Anonymous

    Sept. 27, 2015
    1 a.m.

    hi!,I really like your writing so much! percentage we keep in touch extra about your article on AOL? I require an expert in this space to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Taking a look ahead to see you.

  47. homeownrs ins

    Sept. 28, 2015
    12:05 p.m.

    Get free quotes on car insurance by zip code over the USA!

  48. Anonymous

    Oct. 4, 2015
    4:38 a.m.

    I view something really special in this site.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...