Issue Date: November 7, 2011
Senate Passes 2012 Spending Package
The Senate last week passed with a 69-30 vote the first of what is expected to be a series of 2012 appropriations packages. The measure (H.R. 2112) combines the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-Housing & Urban Development spending bills. It would provide some $128 billion in discretionary funds for fiscal 2012, which began on Oct. 1. Among the key science agencies that would be funded under this so-called minibus bill are NSF, NASA, NIST, NOAA, and FDA. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 2112 as an Agriculture spending measure in June. But the House has not voted on the other two appropriations that the Senate folded into the version of the bill it passed. The measure now goes to a conference committee, with representatives from both chambers, that will iron out a final compromise bill. Congress has a short window left to finish its work on the 2012 budget as the federal government is being funded through a stopgap measure that runs out on Nov. 18. Lawmakers are expected to pass another stopgap measure to allow them to finish work on 2012 spending bills.
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