Senate moves forward on “minibus” spending bill

The Senate reached a deal on a Fiscal Year 2012 “minibus” appropriations bill, this first of several planned combined-spending measures intended to speed up the FY 2012 process. This bill includes the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development bill (T-HUD, which funds disability-related housing and transportation programs) and two other spending bills. Senators will resume consideration of the bill when they return from a weeklong recess and hold votes on remaining amendments. The Senate would then vote on passage of the bill. The Senate version of the T-HUD bill provides level funding of $150 million for the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program, while the House version funds the program at the President’s requested level of $196 million. Appropriators hope to finish work by Nov. 18, both to avoid another stopgap spending bill and to beat the deadline for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to issue its recommendations. So far, the House has passed six of its 12 spending bills and the Senate has passed only one.

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