For the first time in years, there are no large cuts planned for fiscal 2015, which will help Mikulski in the Senate.
With the coming midterm elections, appropriations bills will almost certainly be the only bills signed into law in 2014. That will make them vital to members of Congress trying to enact policy changes, and just as vital to lobbyists trying to secure more money and protect budget items.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.