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Appropriators Set Listening Sessions on Spending Bills

Crenshaw is chairman of the panel overseeing Financial Services funding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Six Appropriations subcommittee chairmen whose bills the House did not pass earlier this year will host listening sessions Nov. 17 through Nov. 19 so members can ask questions or provide input on the measures, according to a schedule obtained by CQ Roll Call.  

The one-hour, members-only sessions are expected to give appropriators and leadership an idea of what members will be looking for in a year-end government funding measure.  

The first listening session on Nov. 17 will focus on the Financial Services and General Government bill that is the most riddled with partisan riders. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., subcommittee chairman, will lead a 3 p.m. session on the measure, which includes riders designed to limit the power of the IRS, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  

The Financial Services appropriations bill never made it to the floor after the House appropriations process froze in an effort to avoid politically divisive votes. All work on House spending bills was halted after a dispute over display of the Confederate battle flag.  

House leadership pulled the Interior-Environment spending bill from the floor in June after Democrats and some Republicans revolted against a proposed amendment to allow Confederate flag imagery displayed on cemeteries on federal land.  

Last week, the House Republican whip team asked members if leadership should bring the Financial Services bill to the floor as a standalone measure and if members would support it.  

Majority Whip Steve Scalise's office did not offer details on the response, but multiple senior aides for House Republicans told CQ Roll Call it was their understanding that members were not interested in voting on a standalone measure. The aides did not speak on the record because they were not authorized to discuss the whip operation.  

Three separate sessions will be held on Nov. 18: at 11 a.m. on funding for the Interior and Environment Departments, hosted by subcommittee chairman Ken Calvert, R-Calif.; at 2 p.m. on the bill for the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, hosted by subcommittee chairman Robert B. Aderholt, R-Ala.; and at 3 p.m. on homeland security funding, hosted by subcommittee chairman John Carter, R-Texas.  

There will be a 9 a.m. session on Nov. 19 on funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, hosted by subcommittee chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., and a 10 a.m. meeting on State Department and foreign operations funding, hosted by subcommittee chairwoman Kay Granger, R-Texas.