Senate Passes Another Appropriations Package, Approves Four More Bipartisan Funding Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, today applauded the Senate’s passage of H.R. 6147, the second Fiscal Year 2019 minibus appropriations bill.  The funding legislation packages four measures including Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies; and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.  This marks the Senate’s completion of seven FY2019 appropriations bills.


“Following strong bipartisan momentum to return to regular order, the Senate has passed a second package of appropriations measures with overwhelming support,” said Chairman Shelby.  “The funding provided by these bills will help to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, fight against opioid abuse, make important investments in American agriculture, and promote and support the growth of our economy.”


“I hope my colleagues are encouraged by what’s happening here, by what we are accomplishing together.  Moving these bills in this way is the right thing to do – not only for this institution, but for our country; for the American people.” Shelby continued.


The funding measure was approved by a vote of 92 – 6.  The package provides a total of $154.176 billion in base discretionary funding to support various national priorities within the Departments of Interior, Treasury, Agriculture, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.  All four of the appropriations bills included in the package were passed by the full Senate Appropriations Committee with unanimous support.


This legislation follows last month’s passage of H.R. 5895, a minibus which packaged the Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and the Legislative Branch FY2019 appropriations bills.  The Senate approved the three-bill package with the overwhelming support of 86 – 5.  Furthermore, all 12 of the Senate’s FY2019 appropriations measures were passed out of the committee by wide bipartisan margins and were approved by a cumulative committee vote of 363 – 9.


Prior to the vote for passage of H.R. 6147, Chairman Shelby spoke on the Senate floor regarding his strong support for the legislation.  His full remarks, as prepared, are as follows:


“Madam President, before we vote I want to thank my colleagues for their cooperation in moving this package.  In particular, I want to thank Leaders McConnell and Schumer for bringing these bills to the floor, and Vice Chairman Leahy for his continued partnership throughout the appropriations process.


“I also want to congratulate the bill managers and their staffs:  Senators Murkowski, Collins, Lankford, and Hoeven on the Republican side; Senators Udall, Reed, Coons, and Merkley on the Democratic side.


“These valuable members of the Appropriations Committee produced strong and balanced bills, and they have guided an open and disciplined process here on the Senate floor.  Thank you for your excellent work.


“Madam President, we are now making real headway in the appropriations process.  The Committee reported all twelve fiscal year 2019 bills to the full Senate before the July 4th recess.  All with strong bipartisan support.


“The first three bill package passed the full Senate last month by a vote of 86 – 5.


“The package now before the Senate contains four additional appropriations bills.  Hopefully – we’ll see here shortly – this package will achieve the same level of bipartisan support as the last.


“If that holds true we will have passed seven – yes, seven – appropriations bills before August.  And with only five more to go, I think that we can honestly say Madam President, this train has considerable momentum behind it now. 


“Next up is the Defense-Labor-HHS package.  A package I know senators on both sides of the aisle are very eager to debate.


“Madam President, I hope my colleagues are encouraged by what’s happening here, by what we are accomplishing together.  Moving these bills in this way is the right thing to do M. President – not only for this institution, but for our country; for the American people.


“When we take up the next package I hope we will continue to work using this framework as our guide.  It is, after all, this framework that has allowed us to return to regular order.  This process is working, Madam President; let’s keep it going.


“Again, I thank my colleagues for their cooperation, I urge a yes vote on this bill, and with that I yield the floor.”