Both the House and Senate versions of the CR would provide a $363 million increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s weapons activities, but the Senate intends to provide a slightly smaller bump — $110 million — for the NNSA’s domestic uranium enrichment research and development, which is part of its nuclear nonproliferation activities. The House’s CR proposed a $150 million increase.
The Senate appropriators stuck fairly close to the House’s plan for dividing up the money among the sections of the spending package representing the dozen annual appropriations bills, moving about $1.15 billion, or less than 1 percent, of the $1.043 trillion available under current spending caps, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. The biggest loser in the changes was the Interior-Environment measure, which was cut by 2.5 percent, or $779 million, to $29.8 billion in the Senate bill. Winners were the Agriculture ($285 million), Financial Services (+$227 million) and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development ($385 million) sections of the bill, although these gains were between less than 1 percent to about 1.4 percent. Mikulski and Shelby have made it clear that they want their bill to be capable of winning support in both chambers.
“It prioritizes spending and aims to steer clear of divisive issues,” Shelby said on the floor.
“We’re reaching across the aisle. We’re reaching across the dome,” Mikulski said. “That’s how we’re trying to do it.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.