Hoyer Hopes to Complete Four Spending Bills Before CR

Posted September 22, 2009 at 12:57pm

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that he hopes to send as many as four appropriations bills to President Barack Obama before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

None of the 12 annual spending bills has made it to the president’s desk yet. The House has passed all 12 but the Senate has only passed five, and all still need to go to conference committee. Hoyer said the House will pass a continuing resolution, or stopgap spending bill, by Thursday to keep the government funded at current levels for another 30 days.

“My objective is to complete the appropriations process by the end of October,— Hoyer said in a meeting with reporters. “We’ll be a month late. I’m not happy about that.—

The five spending measures that have passed both chambers, but that await conference action, include bills on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development; legislative branch; Homeland Security; Energy and water development; and Agriculture, rural development and Food and Drug Administration.

Beyond the appropriations process, Hoyer said the House schedule for the remainder of the year “is somewhat subject to both health care and the flow of business from the Senate to the House.—

In addition to its inaction on spending bills, the Senate has yet to act on House-passed climate change legislation. And with all eyes on the Senate Finance Committee as it tackles health care reform, Hoyer announced Monday that he is cutting four days from the House work schedule to give Members more time to meet with constituents. “We’ve done a lot of work. I want to emphasize this first eight months was a very productive period of time— in the House, added Hoyer. “We now have to, you know, finish that legislation … by having conferences with the Senate on the bills they pass and then send [them] to the president.—