The Senate has been considering the 2003 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill on and off since September 4. It will resume consideration of the bill Tuesday morning. Here's what has happened so far.
The Senate adopted a Daschle emergency drought relief amendment. The amendment provides for emergency financial assistance by the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation for crop and livestock losses. The estimated cost of the assistance is $5.9 billion. The amendment includes directed scoring that scores the cost against the Agriculture Committee, not the Appropriations Committee. A motion to waive the Budget Act, thus preventing a point of order against the amendment, was agreed to 79 to 16.
The Senate has adopted a number of other amendments, including the following related to DOI:
Pending when the Senate takes up the bill on Tuesday will be a Byrd amendment to provide $825 million in emergency funding to repay Interior and Forest Service borrowing to cover the costs of this year's wildland fires. A cloture vote on this amendment is scheduled for late Tuesday.
Also pending is the Craig/Domenici emergency hazardous fuels reduction amendment. This is technically a second degree amendment to the Byrd $825 million repayment amendment. (The Daschle drought amendment described above is also technically a second degree amendment to the Byrd amendment.)
Two other pending amendments are: