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The Next Step for ANWR

This is a good description of the process ahead for ANWR.

The House passed their budget resolution 218 yeas 214 nays. The Senate continues to work on the passage of their budget resolution. The two houses must conference for a final budget resolution that must clear both houses to be finalized. Under the Budget Act, the conference report must pass the full Congress by April 15, but Congress has only met that deadline a few times. Yes, the House and Senate must each pass their own budget resolution and then conference for a final budget resolution that must clear both houses to be finalized.

Once both houses have approved the budget resolution conference report, the funding allocations identified in the budget resolution go into effect. Those allocations include spending allocated to the authorizing committees as well as appropriations spending caps.

At this point, reconciliation begins. The Senate budget resolution says that committees receiving reconciliation instructions to achieve spending savings –which would include ANWR -- must report their legislative language to the Budget Committee by June 6.

The Budget Committee packages all the legislation into one omnibus reconciliation bill and reports it to the Senate for expedited consideration. There are 20 hours of debate for a reconciliation bill. During this process, we anticipate another motion to strike the ANWR language from the reconciliation bill. (When Congress passed ANWR in 1995 as part of the 1996 Budget Reconciliation, a similar amendment was offered.)

The reconciliation bill then has to go through the normal legislative process in both houses, through conference, and to the President for signature.

In the Senate budget resolution there are three reconciliation bills – the spending bill, the revenue bill, and a debt limit bill. ANWR legislation would be included in the spending reconciliation bill.

Permalink :: Posted by Clay Butcher on March 17, 2005 :: ::
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