Appropriations Season: May 31, 2013

Appropriations season will begin in the House this upcoming week and LLPH is very excited to watch as lawmakers work to cut spending.

The first appropriations bill they will take up will be the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act:

One of the bills up next week is the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, H.R. 2216. That bill provides for a total of $73.3 billion in discretionary spending — $1.4 billion more than last year’s bill, but $1.4 billion less than President Obama’s request.

Discretionary spending at the Department of Veterans Affairs would rise $2.1 billion to $63.1 billion. Military construction spending is at $9.9 billion, a $646 million reduction from last year.

This bill tends to receive very few amendments although we will keep an eye out for any amendments that could cut some waste in the VA. We are somewhat concerned about the increase in spending for this appropriations bill, but caring for the veterans is one area where we would agree the federal government has some role in, so we will not be urging for that many spending cut amendments.

The second appropriations bill that will likely be taken Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act:

The second bill is the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, H.R. 2217. It provides for $38.9 billion in discretionary spending on the Department of Homeland Security, $618 million less than last year’s bill and $35 million less than the president’s request. The Homeland bill does represent a $981 million increase in funding compared to current levels once automatic sequestration cuts are factored in.

In this bill, there are a lot of places to cut spending and we would strongly encourage legislators to work on doing so. While we are grateful that the Appropriations committee agreed to decrease the spending funds from last year, we still believe that there are many opportunities for cuts. As we found out from the scandals over the last few weeks, larger departments and government simply leads to more inefficiencies and corruption. We will update you on spending cuts amendments when they are presented.

Thanks to The Hill for their great article: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/302587-house-preps-floor-work-on-two-spending-bills-for-fy-2014

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