Senate Will Stick With Boosted Spending Levels to Start Appropriations

The Senate will stick to the boosted spending levels reached in a bipartisan budget deal last fall to move forward with the appropriations process, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.

“We will be using the top line that was agreed to last year in order to move forward on the Senate appropriations bills,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill. 

McConnell’s support for the $1.07 discretionary spending level, which Democrats called for on Monday, helps clear the path for the Senate to start the appropriations process. The boosted spending levels are at the center of a standoff among House Republicans that has stalled the appropriations process in that chamber. There is bipartisan support for Congress to pass all the appropriations bills separately, a feat the legislative body has not accomplished since 1994. 

“It’s our goal to turn to appropriations bills close to a month earlier than have ever been done in the Senate, or at least in anybody’s memory, and to try to move as many bills across the floor as we can individually,” McConnell said. “I’m glad to see sort of cooperative attitude about it.”