The House Appropriations Committee marked up two of its twelve FY15 302(b) levels on April 9, a move that created some partisan discord. Committee Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) said that the Committee could not mark up all of its 302(b) allocations before CBO scored the President’s budget. However, he wished to proceed with interim 302(b) allocations for the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill, and the Legislative Branch bill because “these bills are reasonably small” and he did not expect much variation in their allocations, regardless of CBO’s score.
Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) called this process “highly unusual” and objected to marking up two 302(b) allocations instead of waiting to mark up all twelve simultaneously. She said that the 302(b) process was created so that bills would not be marked up separately, which could result in those considered earlier in the process taking a greater share of the allocation. “The whole purpose of 302(b) is to make sure the last bill has funding available,” said Ms. Lowey. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) urged Committee members to support a “transparent and legitimate process by voting no” on approving just two of the 302(b) allocations. The Committee approved the two allocations by a voice vote.
At the start of the Congressional budget cycle, the Appropriations Committees take the overall spending budgeted for the fiscal year (called the 302(a) allocation) and divide it between the twelve Appropriations Subcommittees. The amounts budgeted for the Subcommittees are the 302(b) allocations.