Academic journal article Current Politics and Economics of South and Central America

Fy2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs

Academic journal article Current Politics and Economics of South and Central America

Fy2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs

Article excerpt

Most Recent Developments

On June 30, 2010, the House Rules Committee posted a revised draft version of H.R. 4899 that would provide $75.3 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending, and require $63.7 billion in new appropriations taking into account $11.7 billion in offsetting rescissions.13 (Since rescissions cancel previously unobligated appropriated budget authority (BA) that BA can then be used to finance new spending offsetting or decreasing the new BA that needs to be appropriated.) In addition to including congressional marks for the Administration's request for war funding, Haiti relief, border security, and VA benefits, this new June leadership draft includes some $14 billion of additional domestic spending-primarily to prevent teacher layoffs and provide additional Pell Grants-and $11.7 billion in rescissions. The Democratic leadership is assessing support for this version.

Developed in negotiations with Senate counterparts, the June leadership draft reflects concerns about the effects on the deficit of a May 26, 2010, House Appropriations Committee (HAC) Democratic majority draft that provided $85.7 billion in funding and required $84.8 billion in new BA taking into account $892 million in rescissions. Outlined in a press release, the May HAC majority draft included about $31 billion in domestic spending primarily to prevent layoffs of teachers, law enforcement personnel, and firefighters and provide additional Pell Grants in addition to war and Haiti funding and additional benefits for Vietnam veterans.14 This May draft was to be marked up on May 27, 2010, but markup was cancelled.

The June House majority leadership draft requires some $21.1 billion less of new BA because it includes half as much additional domestic spending and $11.7 billion in offsetting rescissions. This new draft is expected to be considered on the House and possibly the Senate floor this week before the July 4 recess. On the House side, the leadership is proposing that the bill be considered under a rule where there would be separate votes on the $36.5 billion in war funding and the remaining $25.4 billion for FEMA disaster relief, Haiti relief, Pell Grant funding, Gulf Oil Spill response, border security, other foreign aid, and teacher job funding. The parts would then be combined and sent to the Senate as a single bill.

On May 27, 2010, by a vote of 67-28, the Senate passed H.R. 4899 with $59.6 billion in funding and $240 million in rescissions, requiring $58.4 billion in new BA for U.S. disaster assistance, DOD and war-related State/USAID programs, Haiti recovery and reconstruction funds, additional benefits for veterans with illnesses related to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam, and expenses related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill after four days of debate.15 The Senate-passed bill did not include additional domestic spending.

According to statements by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the House may proceed directly to floor consideration without a markup, with the bill presented as a substitute to the Senate-passed version; for this reason, a bill and report may not be available.16 Speaker Pelosi has indicated she would like to complete the markup before the July 4 recess in response to concerns raised by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that without supplemental funds, the Defense Department would need to begin planning to use base budget funds for war, which he called disruptive.

In Senate debate that began on May 24, 2010, a cloture motion was filed on May 25, 2010.17 On May 26, by unanimous consent, the Senate adopted an agreement proposed by Senate Majority Leader Reid that limited debate and confined votes to six individual amendments, to be followed by a cloture vote and the withdrawal of other amendments. None of the six amendments was adopted. On May 27, 2010, the Senate voted to invoke cloture by 69-29.

On May 27, 2010, the Senate adopted a managers' amendment made up of 16 amendments, passed the bill, appointed conferees, and sent the bill to the House. …

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