Throughout the month of July, the House of Representatives completed much of their appropriations work, having passed all 12 appropriations bills out of committee. Last week, the full House considered and passed two separate Appropriations “minibuses” that fund certain agencies through September 2021. On July 24, by a 224 to 189 vote, the House passed a package of four bills that funds the Department of State, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, and Department of Veterans Affairs. On July 31, by a vote of 217 to 197, the House passed a package of six bills that funds the Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, Department of Energy, Department of the Treasury, Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The two remaining bills yet to be passed by the full House are those that fund the Department of Homeland Security and the Legislative Branch.
Of significance to Texas A&M, included in the Department of Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, was $389M to help pay for a new training vessel for the Texas A&M Maritime Academy located at the Galveston Campus. The new, National Security Multi-Mission Vessel, is a 525-foot ship is designed to provide a training platform and would be outfitted with several training spaces, such as eight classrooms, a full training bridge, lab spaces, and an auditorium. It would allow our cadets to have access to the best training and make them ready to fill much-needed and highly paid jobs at sea.
The Senate, however, has not yet indicated when they expect to begin their appropriations work, making a short-term Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government funded likely, as we head into the November elections.