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Senate Continues Work on FY2006 Appropriations Bills

This week, the Senate approved the FY2006 Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill and began its consideration of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies spending bill.

To date, only two of the eleven FY2006 appropriations bills have been enacted into law: Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and Legislative Branch.

Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

On September 15, the Senate approved, 91-4, the FY2006 Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies spending bill (H.R. 2862). The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the measure on June 23 (see The Source, 6/24/05).

H.R. 2862 would allocate $48.6 billion in FY2006, an $884.1 million increase over FY2005 and $1.7 billion more than the administration’s request. The House-approved version of the bill would provide $57.45 billion in FY2006, but also would include funding for the Department of State (see The Source, 6/17/05).

During consideration of the bill, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, an amendment offered by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) that would provide an additional $9 million for the Office on Violence Against Women, bringing the total to $372 million in FY2006. This amount is $10.1 million less than FY2005 and $9 million above the budget request. Of that total, $2 million would be allocated for the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network; $1 million for nonprofit, nongovernmental statewide coalitions serving sexual assault victims; and $6 million for statewide domestic violence coalitions offering domestic violence programs.

The Senate also approved the following amendments by unanimous consent:

  • an amendment by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) that would provide an additional $3 million for child abuse training for judicial personnel, bringing the total to $5.3 million in FY2006; and
  • an amendment by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) that would extend the term of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission for an additional year.

In addition, Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) offered, but withdrew, an amendment that would have provided an additional $15 million for transitional housing under the Violence Against Women Act, bringing the total to $30 million in FY2006.

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