April 3, 2014
The first two FY 2015 bills are set to move through the House Appropriations subcommittees today: Military Construction-VA and Legislative Branch.
The Military Construction-VA bill proposes $71.5 billion in discretionary spending for the VA and the military construction accounts of the Defense Department, a decrease of $1.8 billion from the FY 2014 enacted level, with the cuts coming from the military construction portion. The Legislative Branch bill would provide $3.3 billion for the House and joint operations, about $122.5 million less than requested and matching FY 2014 spending. As is customary with the Legislative Branch spending bill, the House and Senate will each defer to the other chamber in setting its own funding levels.
Today in the Senate, Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) will lead a markup of tax extenders legislation with the hope of ending the impasse over temporary tax breaks that expired at the start of the year. The package would extend for two years popular business tax preferences such as the credit for research and exploration and individual breaks for mortgage interest and mortgage debt relief. But only 45 of the 55 breaks that expired December 31st made Wyden’s list. Nearly 100 amendments to the bill have been filed so the final outcome is yet to be seen. We will report more after the committee markup.