ICYMI: Murray Leads Senate Appropriations in Passing All 12 Bills Out of Committee in Overwhelming Bipartisan Votes


For first time in five years, Senate appropriators advanced all 12 spending bills out of committee


Washington, D.C. – In case you missed it: on Thursday, Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) led the fourth and final full committee markup of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s fiscal year 2024 spending bills, advancing the Committee’s final four bills for consideration by the full Senate. This marks the first time since 2018 that Senate Appropriators have reported all twelve individual bills out of Committee—and the first time in two years the Committee has held markups.


Here’s what Senators have had to say about the process over the last few weeks—and some highlights:


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “We took an incredible step forward. We have 12 appropriations bills that have been reported out of committee, a feat unheard of. I give a great deal of credit to Patty Murray and Senator Susan Collins. This is a divided country. You say our politics are divided, and you had 12 appropriations bills passed in a bipartisan way out of the committee. Incredible.”


Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: “What we have done so far and we’ll do today is really something close to a miracle—bringing together folks from both sides of the aisle where we often face so much division and working closely together to produce these spending bills. So: well done. And it’s a pleasure to be here legislating again as we work on individual amendments that bring many perspectives to bear and trying to work out compromises. This feels like the closest thing to a functioning a legislative body to be found in the Senate, and it’s just—huge compliments to everyone who’s making that happen.”


Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: “Thank you, Madam Chairman. It is good to be here today to be marking up not only our Interior bill, but the other three measures. I think we all recognize the extraordinary work that you have put into this along with your Vice Chair on this committee. It is exceptional. I think it’s historic, and it is certainly worthy of applause. We still have a few more to go, but to get to this place, I think, is certainly worthy of recognition. By choosing to move the committee through this very specific and directed process—basically: regular order, marking up bills—you’ve given us as members, as chairmen and ranking members on these subcommittees, you’ve given us the chance and the opportunity to give input to a product …. I really want to acknowledge and thank you for pushing this process on all of us. It makes us better legislators. …. This is what we’re supposed to be doing here.”


Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Chair of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security: “There is, of course, a reason why we leave the Homeland Security appropriations bill to the end. It’s a hard one. To get a bipartisan bill funding DHS’ diverse portfolio, you need to make some big compromises. And we did that in this bill. But most of all, you frankly need a Chair and a Vice Chair that are laser like focused on getting results. And so my thanks to Chair Murray and Vice Chair Collins for not leaving any of the subcommittees behind, and this is a really important precedent that we are setting as a Committee. We are all going to benefit from what we have been doing over the last few weeks putting this committee back in a position of relevance.”


Senator Katie Britt (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security: “Thank you, Madam Chair. I first want to express my gratitude to you and Vice Chair Collins. It’s a testament to your tremendous leadership and determination from both of you that today marks a milestone of this committee marking up 12 out of 12 appropriations bills. It’s a significant accomplishment and no doubt a win for the American people that the appropriations process is proceeding in this fashion.”


Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development: “I want to thank our Chair and Vice Chair for moving this process along. It’s surprising—but it’s refreshing.”


Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies: “So I want to thank you both [Chair Murray and Vice Chair Collins] for your leadership at the top of the Committee because we are proving that regular order is not just important, it is doable. And the fact that we’re even considering this [LHHS] bill, perhaps more than others, proves that it can be done.”




The Hill: Senate negotiators advance all 12 funding bills for first time in years


New York Times: “The boiling over of tempers on the House side was in sharp contrast to the mood in the Senate, where the Appropriations Committee cleared the last of its 12 bills on a bipartisan basis in one of the smoothest appropriations seasons in recent memory.”


Washington Post: Senate Appropriations Committee chair has a mantra for anyone who underestimates her: ‘Prove them wrong’ — “Amid heightened partisanship, the Senate committee ground to something of a halt: It has been five years since the panel approved all 12 of the necessary funding bills …. Enter Murray, who along with her GOP partner, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), has formed the first all-woman leadership of the committee. They mapped out a plan to re-energize the panel and, through their pledge of ‘regular order,’ to give senators full participation in the must-pass bills through debate and amendments on the Senate floor.”


NPR: “The first two women to jointly lead the panel have made good on [their] pledge [to return to regular order], moving through committee all 12 of their bills before the August break with near unanimous support at the levels agreed to in the McCarthy-Biden budget deal and with none of the culture war-driven riders added by the House.”


Politico: “The committee is slated to finish approving all 12 bills by the end of today, a remarkable return to the way things used to be done that looks anomalous in light of the past decade’s appropriations chaos.”


Roll Call: “The Appropriations Committee led by new Chair Patty Murray of Washington and new top Republican Susan Collins of Maine on Thursday accomplished their stated goal of getting all 12 spending bills for fiscal 2024 reported to the floor on a bipartisan basis.”


CQ Budget Podcast: “It is striking how—I mean that Committee is just breezing through the bills with overwhelming bipartisan support …. This is really striking what you know, Patty Murray, the Chair, and Susan Collins, the ranking member, have been able to agree to.”


Here’s what the Committee has been up to over the last few weeks:


June 22 Markup:

  • Chair Murray gavels in first Committee markup in two years
  • Markup is livestreamed on video for first time ever
  • Committee approves:
    • Subcommittee allocations
    • MilCon-VA bill 28-0
    • Agriculture-FDA bill 28-0


July 13 Markup:

  • Committee approves:
    • Legislative Branch bill 29-0
    • Commerce-Justice-Science bill 28-1
    • Financial Services and General Government bill 29-0


July 20 Markup:

  • Committee approves:
    • Energy and Water Development bill 29-0
    • State-Foreign Operations bill 27-2
    • Transportation-HUD bill 29-0


July 27 Markup:

  • Committee approves:
    • Defense bill 27-1
    • Interior-Environment bill 28-0
    • Labor-HHS-Education bill 26-2
    • Homeland Security bill 24-4
  • Senate Appropriators clear all 12 bills out of Committee for the first time in five years