Appropriations activity heats up as Senate considers extension

As usual, the arrival of cold weather means that action over appropriations in Congress is heating up.

The past 24 hours have seen a flurry of activity on spending bills that will fund much of the government's activities for fiscal 2006, including the the passage of a second continuing resolution that, if approved today by the Senate, will keep the government open through Dec. 17.

Senate lawmakers approved the resolution this afternoon by a voice vote after it passed the House Thursday.

Also, House Democrats led the defeat of the spending bill for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments, which would have allocated $29.8 million for Labor's IT acquisitions, including infrastructure, architecture, equipment and software.

A spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee said the bill will be considered again next month.

Meanwhile, congressional conferees approved a compromise spending bill for the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development departments. The bill, HR 3058, must now be approved by both chambers of Congress before being signed by the president.

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