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Congressional Appropriators Reach Agreement on Spending

November 29, 2019   The Waterways Journal

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Congressional Appropriators Reach Agreement On Spending



Washington, D.C.—Top congressional appropriators have reached a crucial agreement on spending levels for fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills, a major breakthrough that could boost their chances of avoiding yet another stopgap measure in several weeks to keep the government from shutting down.

Specific details on the spending limits were not made available, but the agreement included no preconditions on those allocations, which indicate negotiations on how to divvy up the funds among the various programs might be left mostly to appropriators.

Still, it was unclear what that approach will mean for funding a barrier President Donald Trump wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.


That issue has been the other major stumbling block in keeping the current appropriations process on track.

Under a bill Trump signed into law late November 21, just hours before a shutdown deadline, government funding was extended through December 20.


Once again, that generated optimism for the upcoming talks.

“We’re ready for the negotiation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said as that bill headed toward final congressional approval and then on to the president’s desk.


“And hopefully it will take place expeditiously so that we can be finished by December 20.”

If those talks succeed, funding for the 12 appropriations bills and the entire government could be provided through the rest of the current fiscal year, which ends September 30.


It also was unclear whether the 12 bills would remain in the so-called minibuses that have been used up to this point or whether they would be rolled into one massive omnibus bill.


Members of the waterways industry have been tracking a number of issues, such as funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and grant programs in the Department of Transportation, including the Maritime Administration.