The House plans on being plenty busy next week before the beginning of its late summer recess, with late-night votes expected on a “minibus” appropriations package of four spending bills but no word yet on whether it might consider a contentious budget resolution or a package of sanctions on Russia, Iran and possibly North Korea.
During their Thursday colloquy on the House floor, Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., asked Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to explain the process under which the consolidated “minibus” appropriations bill would be considered.
McCarthy said that the minibus will be considered under a structured rule and that “we assume that there will be hundreds of amendments,” and that that is why he expects there will be late votes next week.
Hoyer asked McCarthy if he expects “we will bring the other eight [appropriations] bills to the floor in September.”
McCarthy replied: “I do intend to bring the rest of the appropriations bills through this floor and get them done to send them to the Senate.”
Hoyer noted that McCarthy mentioned earlier in the colloquy that the minibus would include funding for a border wall and that the Homeland Security bill is not in the appropriations package, and then asked him which bill the funding would be included in.
McCarthy said that the funding “will be an amendment made in Rules for the bill.”
Late Night Votes Ahead: House Considering 4-Bill Spending Package Before Recess
Hoyer asked if the amendment would be one made in order for floor consideration. McCarthy said, “I do not speak for the Rules Committee, it’ll be their process and their determination. It is a committee. They will decide as a committee.”
Hoyer asked McCarthy to clarify as to whether the funding for the border wall would be an amendment automatically adopted as part of agreeing to the rule for the bill or if the amendment would be one made in order for floor consideration in the Committee of the Whole.
McCarthy said that he “can’t promise what the Rules Committee will do.” He continued: “The Rules Committee will find the right place to apply it, and we’ll be able to have the discussion on the floor.”
Hoyer said that he would hope McCarthy will make it known to the Rules Committee that “we ought to have that as a free-standing amendment, not incorporated in a rule that the vote for the rule or a vote against the rule is in of itself a vote on the wall itself.”
Speaking on the pending bill related to sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, Hoyer said that he looks forward to, over the next “day or two” to see if he and McCarthy can get the issue of bringing the bill to the floor resolved.
“Possible but I don’t have it scheduled yet,” told CQ Roll Call when asked if the fiscal 2018 budget resolution would be on the floor next week.
The California Republican also dodged on timing of the sanctions bill, saying he’ll announce it when he’s ready.
House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce seemed more optimistic about the sanctions bill, telling CQ Roll Call that the measure should be on the House floor next week.
The House returns next week on Monday at noon for morning hour, 2 p.m. for legislative business, with votes no later than 6:30 p.m. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the chamber meets at 10 am. for morning hour and noon for legislative business, while on Friday, when the chamber is scheduled to begin its August recess, it will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business.
Jael Holzman and Lindsey McPherson contributed to this story.