For Immediate Release
January 4, 2007

Contact: Kirstin Brost, Tom Gavin or Jennifer Reed

Senate, House Appropriations Set Subcommittee Plans for New Congress

Streamlined Approach Should Help Work Be Finished on Time

WASHINGTON - The House and Senate Appropriations Committee will have common subcommittee structures, a move that the incoming Appropriations chairmen hope will help to complete action on each of the government funding on time for the first time since 1994.

"The Appropriations Committees have a responsibility to work in the best interests of the nation, making funding decisions that can set the foundation for a strong economy and a brighter future for all Americans.  We need to make smart choices:  investing in education and science, homeland security, community health centers and research facilities, and upgrading the infrastructure that can help to create jobs and new opportunities throughout the country," Byrd said.

“We have our work cut out for us,” said Obey.  “This is going to be a difficult year as we face the challenges of completing two years work in one year.  The cooperation that got us this proposal today will be even more important in the months ahead.”

The last time each of the appropriations bills was approved by Congress and signed into law by the start of the federal fiscal year was 1994 -- the last time that Senator Byrd and Representative Obey led the Senate and House Appropriations Committees. 

Currently, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have a different number of subcommittees -- 10 in the House, 12 in the Senate -- with different jurisdictions.  That disjointed approach has resulted in delays in completing action on appropriations bills.

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will each have 12 subcommittees, including a new Financial Services and General Government panel.  That new subcommittee will have jurisdiction over federal organizations such as the Treasury Department, the federal Judiciary, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and other related agencies.  The federal budget for the District of Columbia also will be part of this new subcommittee’s jurisdiction.

Other subcommittees are:

  • Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies;
  • Defense;
  • Energy and Water Development;
  • Homeland Security;
  • Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies;
  • Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies;
  • Legislative Branch;
  • Military Construction, Veterans Administration, and Related Agencies;
  • Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies;
  • State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs;
  • and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

"The American people are tired of the Congress being more focused on scoring political points rather than focusing on the problems that face our families from coast to coast.  We are committed, in the Appropriations Committees, to putting the people’s priorities front and center.  We will work together, Democrats and Republicans, to make the smart choices to not only meet the demands of today, but also to put this nation on a path to greater opportunity a decade from now," Byrd said.

“Hopefully this reorganization can help us in that mission,” said Obey.

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