Today on the Hill: Budget Deal Fast-tracked As Senate Eyes Recess

Senators may look to wrap up legislative business for the summer later this afternoon. In addition to a host of presidential nominations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has queued up the bipartisan budget agreement for a vote at some point during today’s session. Final passage of the measure — which would boost spending by $321 billion over the next two years while also suspending the debt ceiling — could be closer than expected, as some GOP Senators have expressed uneasiness with the plan to increase spending. However, leadership expressed confidence that the bill would pass the chamber and be swiftly signed by President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee are continuing to flesh out next steps for the upper chamber’s appropriation process as passage of the budget deal looms. Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) stated yesterday that he may look to package the spending bills for Defense, Labor-Education-Health and Human Services, and Energy-Water for consideration when the Senate returns in September. The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to mark up its first spending bills on Sept. 12.