Summer in Washington
Progress of Appropriations for FY19
The work of the appropriations committees in both chambers has moved quickly thanks to the budget deal reached earlier this year that set the top-line spending number for the federal government. An optimistic person could project that Congress could have its appropriations work completed by the end of the federal fiscal year, September 30. But, in reality, that hasn't happened since 1996. Factors that may influence success this year:
- An interest by some House members and the president to renegotiate the grand bargain that determined the budget numbers for FY18 and FY19
- Threats by the president to veto Congressional spending bills
- The Senate distracted by the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
Senate Working in August
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he would call the Senate into session in August. Traditionally, August is a time for senators to be in their home states, especially during an election year. Fourteen states have primaries in August. A skeptical person might think the majority leader was trying to keep incumbent Democratic senators in these states from campaigning. Or perhaps, as the majority leader has said, he needs his colleagues to stay in Washington and pass the spending the bills for FY19.
Vote August 14 (or earlier)
Early voting is underway for Minnesota's primary election. All of Minnesota's congressional seats are up for election, including three open House seats. For more information on the candidates, read our Minnesota Primary Congressional Guide.