CQ Roll Call

Senate Appropriations panel lineup settled, finally

By Aidan Quigley, CQ

The Senate Appropriations Committee has finally organized and announced its subcommittee leadership, featuring a major shakeup on both sides of the aisle.

Appropriations Chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., and ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced the subcommittee leadership lineup Tuesday, over a month and a half since the start of the 118th Congress. Republicans finally approved waivers Tuesday for Senators who needed them under GOP conference rules to serve as ranking members. 

The subcommittee leadership is below:
•             Agriculture:  Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. | John Hoeven, R-N.D.  
•             Commerce-Justice-Science:  Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. | Jerry Moran, R-Kan. 
•             Defense:  Jon Tester, D-Mont. | Collins
•             Energy-Water:  Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. | John Kennedy, R-La. 
•             Financial Services:  Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. | Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn. 
•             Homeland Security:  Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn. | Katie Britt, R-Ala. 
•             Interior-Environment:  Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. | Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
•             Labor-HHS-Education:  Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. | Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
•             Legislative Branch:  Jack Reed, D-R.I. | Deb Fischer, R-Neb. 
•             Military Construction-VA:  Murray | John Boozman, R-Ark. 
•             State-Foreign Operations:  Chris Coons, D-Del. | Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. 
•             Transportation-HUD:  Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii | Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss. 

On the Democratic side, Baldwin left her role on top of the Agriculture Subcommittee to replace Murray as chair of the Labor-HHS-Education panel. Murray instead moved over to the Military Construction-VA slot, which Heinrich left to fill Baldwin’s former role on the Agriculture panel. 

Big shifts on the Republican side occurred as a result of the retirements of the panel's top Republican on the full committee and Defense subcommittee — Richard C. Shelby of Alabama — and on the Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee — Missouri's Roy Blunt.

Those departures started a domino effect, with Collins assuming the full committee and Defense slots, Hyde-Smith taking Transportation-HUD, Capito moving to Labor-HHS-Education, and so on.

Three Republicans are serving as subcommittee ranking members for the first time — Hagerty at Financial Services, Britt at Homeland Security and Fischer at Legislative Branch. The Legislative Branch slot opened when Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., left the committee as he focuses on his bid for governor of Indiana in 2024. 

The full Senate Appropriations Committee roster, including subcommittee assignments, is here.

Both Murray and Collins have vowed to mark up appropriations bills and move them to the floor in a timely manner. The Senate has marked up only three bills in the past three years and has brought none to the floor. 

The committee faces a challenging task ahead to reach appropriations agreements in a divided government where Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has a razor-thin majority in the House. 

McCarthy has also promised to have his chamber write appropriations bills at the fiscal 2022 topline level, another wrinkle that could make the task of reaching spending agreements more complicated.