House Passes $447 Billion 'Minibus' Bill

The House passed a bill yesterday containing six of the appropriations bills still lingering in Congress, at a total cost of $447 billion. On Monday, CRFB issued a press release on the appropriations bills, criticizing Congress for its poor track record in passing appropriations bills in an efficient manner and without the scrutiny that the bills deserve, exposing even more the need for budget process reform.

One appropriations bill, providing funding for the Pentagon, still remains on the House’s agenda. Expected to be considered next week, the defense appropriations bill will act as a vehicle for passing all or part of a job-creation package, an increase in the federal debt limit, and several other “must pass” measures.

Yet, House leadership has still not settled on how much to raise the debt ceiling, which now stands at $12.1 trillion. According to press accounts, the ceiling could be raised as much as $1.925 trillion. The Treasury has said that Congress must raise the debt ceiling by the end of the month—although Treasury can employ a number of accounting gimmicks to extend this if necessary.

The Treasury cannot legally borrow more money than Congress has authorized. But we’ll will have more to say on the debt ceiling very soon…