Federal Relations

June 12, 2013

Immigration, Defense Authorization, and FY14 Appropriations — Oh My!

Today in the Senate: The chamber meets this morning to continue debating a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws (S 744).

Today in the House: The chamber is scheduled to begin general debate on a $638.4 billion defense authorization bill (HR 1960) for FY14 that includes funding and/or language for three of UW’s requests: (1) $15 million for awards to academic medical institutions for reconstructive transplants; (2) $15 million for Navy research vessels (to help with the RV Tommy Thompson); and (3) language promoting the National Marine Renewable Energy Centers for ocean renewable energy demonstration activities at or near DOD facilities (tidal energy).

FY14 Appropriations Update: Senate Republican appropriators appear ready to oppose any measures written by Democrats that exceed the discretionary spending cap set by the 2011 deficit reduction law. Next week, they will likely reject a plan from Appropriations Chairwoman Mikulski (D-MD) that would divide up $1.058 trillion among the committee’s dozen annual bills. The Senate plan is about $91 billion higher than the overall level set by House Republicans. Ironically, both plans would trigger a new round of across-the-board spending reductions under sequester because they violate the caps set by the 2011 law (PL 111-25). But the House GOP plan busts the caps in defense and other security measures while the Senate is expected to bust the caps in both defense and non-defense (domestic) bills. All of this is leading to a big fight on spending, which will certainly culminate in a continuing resolution (CR) before the federal fiscal year ends September 30th.