Markups? Floor votes? Senate appropriators say ‘yes we can’ – JP


New Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., knows that returning the chamber’s appropriations process to regular order “won’t be a walk in the park,” as she said during a news conference last week.

Murray and new ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine, are vowing to mark up bills in committee and move them across the floor, which would require 60 votes. The need to eventually work with the new Republican majority in the House, and the Senate’s wide ideological differences, are daunting obstacles to this goal.

The committee has marked up only three bills during the past three years, and no Senate appropriations bills have reached the floor during that time. The last time the Senate passed any individual appropriations bills was in 2019, during the fiscal 2020 process, when the chamber passed four bills in one combo package.

Despite the obvious challenges to a bipartisan appropriations process, senators on both sides of the aisle are saying they are optimistic the chamber can return to regular order.

“There’s just a real commitment, I think, on both sides of the aisle to get that done,” said Arkansas Sen. John Boozman, top Republican on the Military Construction-VA Appropriations Subcommittee. “It’s one of those things that’s going to be difficult, but I have great hope it will actually happen.”

Las Vegas News Magazine

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