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Senate Committee Approves Three Spending Bills

This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee forged ahead with its consideration of the FY2002 appropriations bills, approving three measures-Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, State, and Related Agencies; and Veterans’ Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

Agriculture: On July 17, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, 29-0, the FY2002 agriculture spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered), bypassing subcommittee consideration.

Overall, the bill would provide $16.1 billion in discretionary spending. The House-passed bill (H.R. 2330) would provide $15.7 billion, and the President requested $15.4 billion.

Under the Senate bill, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children would receive a $200 million increase to $4.247 billion in FY2002, $110 million more than the President’s request. The House-passed bill provided $4.137 billion.

The measure may be considered by the Senate the week of July 23.

Commerce-Justice-State: On July 19, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, 29-0, the FY2002 Commerce-Justice-State spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). Committee approval followed voice vote approval by the subcommittee.

Under the bill, Violence Against Women Act programs would receive a $103 million increase to $391 million, the same amount requested by the President and provided in the House-passed bill (see related story on page 3).

The Senate bill also would provide level funding of $310 million for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the same amount requested by the President and provided in the House-passed bill (H.R. 2500). The Legal Services Corporation also would be level-funded at $330 million, the same amount requested by the President and approved by the House.

Additional details of the bill will be available next week.

VA-HUD: The same day, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, 29-0, the FY2002 VA-HUD spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). Committee approval also followed voice vote approval by the subcommittee. Bill details will be available next week.

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