House Moves to Vote on Funding Bills for Fiscal Year 2022

Updated: Jul 23

Martha Newell-Kinsman, Executive Vice President

Next week, the House will begin voting on some of the 12 appropriations bills that together fund the federal government. With a slim majority, Democrats will have to carefully count votes before bringing any of the more controversial bills to the floor, including the Commerce-Justice-Science bill through which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and other important agencies are funded.

So - what is the process, what’s in these funding bills, and what can we expect going forward?

The annual appropriations cycle begins with the President submitting a budget request to Congress typically early in the year (which we’ve analyzed in previous blog posts). While that request helps to inform Congress of the President’s priorities, at the end of the day, Congress holds the purse strings of the government.

Congress is responsible for producing 12 appropriations bills to fund the government before funding runs out at midnight on September 30 each year. While these bills are primarily funding mechanisms, they also contain policy priorities and directives from Congress in the associated bill reports.

While Democrats hold the White House and both chambers of Congress, House Democrats hold a narrow three-seat majority, and the Senate is split down the middle with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote. Congressional Democrats and President Biden have made climate change mitigation and resilience a top legislative priority, which is clearly reflected in the appropriations bills passed out of the House Appropriations Committee this past month.

If passed, the House Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill would provide $81.3 billion in total funding, an increase of 14% over FY21. While the Justice portion of CJS tends to include provisions that draw strong opposition from the minority party, or “poison pills”, the Commerce section, which funds NOAA, is largely noncontroversial and bipartisan. This year, the House Appropriations Committee recommended $6.5 t