News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend, 

With the December 7 funding deadline looming ahead, soon terms like omnibus, continuing resolution, minibus, debt ceiling, reconciliation and other budgeting jargon will be used by Members of Congress and the media. Passing a federal budget is the one essential duty of Congress, yet passing all the required appropriations legislation on time has only happened four times since 1977. 

Here is what should happen: Congress should pass 12 separate appropriations bills funding the federal government and its agencies by the end of the fiscal year, October 1.  

Here is where we stand today: Currently, only 5 of the 12 appropriations bills have been passed and signed by the President. The other 7 have been replaced by a continuing resolution (CR) that lasts through December 7. CRs are stopgap measures that temporarily maintain current funding levels from the previous appropriations bills until new appropriations bills have been passed and signed into law.

Here is a list of the appropriation bills that have been passed, and signed by the President:  

  1. Energy & Water
  2. Legislative Branch
  3. Military Construction & VA
  4. Department of Defense
  5. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services & Education

By midnight on December 7, Congress must pass, and the President must sign, these 7 pending appropriations bills which are currently being funded through the CR:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Commerce, Justice & Science
  3. Financial Services & General Government Appropriations
  4. Homeland Security
  5. Interior & Environment
  6. State & Foreign Operations
  7. Transportation & Housing and Urban Development

Budgeting is central to Congress’ role, but reform is necessary for this process to function successfully in the future. I am glad Congress took the step to institute the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform. This bicameral and bipartisan committee is considering important and necessary changes to the budget process, which are due November 30. I look forward to seeing what they come up with! 

Throughout my time in Congress, I have been committed to fulfilling the duties our Founding Fathers laid out for the Legislative Branch in our Constitution: “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law…” (Article I, Section 9). I have consistently  opposed spending bills that carelessly increase our national debt without the necessary reforms, and look forward to reviewing the upcoming spending agreement to avert a senseless government shutdown. 

Still have questions about the budget process? Send me a note or give our DC office a call at 202-225-2331


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