Climate, Politics/Capitol Light©, is a service of The JBS Group and Civil Notion
Volume 1 August 5, 2019 Issue 21
Budget update. Both the House and Senate are out on their August recess. They are not scheduled to return until September 6th. Before leaving town, both chambers passed a two-year budget deal that was quickly signed by Trump. The legislation raises discretionary spending by more than $320 billion over the next two years and includes a nonbinding side agreement banning policy riders on appropriations bills.
Should the deal of no riders on appropriations bills be kept, it could be a major roadblock for the climate and clean energy communities. Riders are an often used means to attach measures the administration might otherwise oppose, e.g., anything climate related, onto measures it supports or can't afford to veto, e.g., immigration and defense.
The bill also raised the nation's debt ceiling through July 2021, averting a potential debt default until after the 2020 election. The attention of Capitol Hill lawmakers now turns to appropriations.
It’s been reported by E&E News that Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, volunteered to be "at the head of the line" when the chamber begins marking up and moving spending bills. He said his staff would be working throughout August recess to draft the measure.
Upon returning in September Congress will have less than two months to finish all 12 appropriations bills before the new fiscal year begins on October 1st. The House has passed 10 of its 12 bills, including the Energy-Water and Interior-EPA titles. The Senate has yet to introduce their first bill having waited until a budget deal was signed for their committee budget allocations. (Multiple sources)
Joel Stronberg, MA, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.