The president August 2 signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 (H.R. 3877), which would suspend the debt ceiling through July 31, 2021 and would revise discretionary spending caps in fiscal years (FYs) 2020 and 2021. The Senate Aug. 1 approved, 67-28, the House-passed measure. The Senate also rejected 23-70 an amendment to the budget deal offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to add a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and cap on-budget spending through FY 2029. The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research will be sending letters of appreciation to Members of Congress for their support in passing this measure.
Once Senate subcommittees are informed of the 302(b) allocations, they can begin drafting their individual spending bills. Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has stated to the press that he anticipates the first spending bills, including the Labor-HHS bill, will be considered when Congress is back in session the week of Sept. 9.