THE DAILY FED
Stopgap Funding Bill Coming
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., said the Senate is likely to take up an "insurance" continuing resolution the week of Sept. 9. That would "get it down to the White House in plenty of time" before the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, Lott said. GOP leaders had discussed sending the president a CR that would go into effect if FY97 appropriations bills are not completed, but House Majority Leader Armey said last week appropriators had convinced GOP leaders to give them time to complete their work. Lott said by waiting to send the CR to the president, Congress may be able to complete work on five or six appropriations measures that would not have to be included in the CR.
However, it appears the FY97 Labor-HHS funding bill will not be among those completed. Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., today said he has postponed Wednesday's markup of the bill and will not take it up before Congress begins its August recess. Specter said he postponed the markup because it remains unclear how much money the subcommittee will have to spend. He said one provision of the welfare bill could affect the subcommittee's allocation and that the issue of a $1.3 billion outlay reserve fund has not been settled. Specter has said his subcommittee is likely to receive a large part of that money, but the funds will not become available until Lott makes a motion to proceed to a CR.