The suites at the House Appropriations Committee will soon grow quiet after the panel saw its latest government spending stopgap passed by the House as one of the last items of business of the 114th Congress.
Rather than a huge omnibus containing the 11 bills the committee wrote, the measure the House passed is simply another continuing resolution, which appropriators compare to having the government on “autopilot.” Work on resurrecting the measures may resume in January, though lawmakers said it will be a struggle to advance them while also tackling next year’s budget.
Action on another CR was a frustrating end of Committee Chairman Hal Rogers’ six-year term, one marked by constant Republican Conference skirmishes over the discretionary spending levels his committee sets, particularly for non-defense programs.
“At the end of the day, a CR is simply a Band-Aid on a gushing wound,” Rogers said. “This is no way to run a railroad—it’s bad for Congress, bad for the federal government, and bad for our country.”
Rogers made clear he didn’t want the passage of the stopgap running to the end of April to obscure the work the committee put into developing the 12 regular appropriations bills each year for the past six years. Before the bill was passed Rogers reminded lawmakers of the committee’s ups and downs with a “by the numbers” reflection of his chairmanship.
Before the halls grew silent as the House departed Rogers joined the staff for a party that marked the end of his chairmanship. Attending was Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), who will chair the panel in the 115th Congress.
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