Last week, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) joined with Ranking Member, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to announce an orderly schedule to move all appropriations bills through their respective Senate subcommittees. On the Senate side of Congress, there is some positive thought that they can move appropriations in an orderly and in an open way.

The Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee will take up its bill the week of June 25. That is the same time that the Defense Department bill is to be taken up and it will make those two bills the last two bills of the 12. CWLA has submitted its testimony to the subcommittee (deadline for public testimony is June 1).

If the Senate holds to the schedule it means the Senate will have laid down it spending targets before the July 4th break for all FY 2019 spending. The Senate is expected to release their allocations (302 B) when they begin work on their first bill. The scheduled agreed to by both parties:

Week of May 21: Energy and Water Development; Agriculture-FDA
Week of June 4: Transportation-HUD;
Military Construction-VA
Week of June 11: Interior-Environment;
Legislative Branch;
Week of June 18: State-Foreign Operations;
Homeland Security;
Financial Services and General Government
Week of June 25: Defense;

Whether the House can meet the same timeline is uncertain. The House technically is to originate all appropriations, but House leadership has not been as open has not indicated how and when they will decide on their spending. They will likely hold Labor-HHS until last and they have sent signals that there will be reductions in overall spending targets for that bill so that they can spend more in other areas (i.e. Military Construction and Veterans appropriations bills).

The CWLA Senate testimony to the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee highlighted the same requests outlined in the House testimony.