Budget Brief 11-11
July 7, 2011

It was the July 4th recess that wasn’t. The House was absent from the Capitol for the last week of June, and the Senate was scheduled to take its recess the first week of July. However, pressure to resolve the longstanding impasse over raising the nation’s debt limit put the kibosh on the Senate’s plans, so the chamber returned to Washington after the long weekend, ready to tackle debt and budget issues.

While any House-Senate agreement on fiscal year (FY) 2012 appropriations is unlikely to occur outside a long-term debt-reduction/budget-balancing framework, the House remains committed to clearing all 12 FY 2012 appropriations bills before the August recess. To that end, the full House has approved three such bills (Agriculture, Homeland Security, and Military-Veterans Affairs), while three others have passed at the committee level: Defense, Energy and Water, and Financial Services. Additional bills are scheduled to be taken up this week.

As for the Senate, it has made far less progress. The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved its first bill, Military-Veterans Affairs, reporting out a substitute to the House bill (H.R. 2055) that provides $3 million less than the House-passed measure. Unlike the House, the Senate is more disposed toward waiting for a larger budget agreement before tackling individual appropriations bills.

This Budget Brief describes FY 2012 appropriations actions with potential fiscal impacts on states.