Members of the House have moved closer to a confrontation with the Senate over federal funding.
The formal, legislative name for House Bill 18 is a re-appropriations bill, normally a ho-hum bill, easily passed by the legislature.
Not this year.
“House Bill 18 is what has become the battleground in the Senate over the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money that the four senators have been filibustering,” House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan Silvey of Kansas City told colleagues during House floor debate.
Silvey said it was time for a showdown.
“We’re being told that once this bill gets over to the Senate they’re going to cut hundreds of upon hundreds of millions of dollars from it and then we will go to conference,” Silvey stated. “I would like to give the Senate that opportunity and send this bill over largely untouched at the level that we have it at right now.”
At issue is approximately $580 million in federal economic stimulus money appropriated from Congress. HB 18 distributes it to various state agencies and programs. It also allocates a little more than three million dollars in budget stabilization funds. Some senators have threatened to cut $250 million to send a message to Congress about overspending. One more positive vote in the House will give them the opportunity.