Omnibus Negotiations Continue As Deadline Approaches
The House and Senate continue to negotiate an omnibus spending bill, though time is running out as the current continuing resolution (CR) only funds the Federal government through December 18. Complicating the negotiations are disagreements over several policy riders that Republicans would like to include in the omnibus bill.
After approving the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, the Senate appropriations process stalled on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill over a policy rider that would restrict the President’s plan to admit Syrian refugees. In addition to that rider, other riders addressing Planned Parenthood funding, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and the Waters of the United States rule are currently being debated. Congressional Democrats and the President have called for a clean omnibus bill.
Even if negotiators can resolve the policy rider issues Congress may have to pass another CR beyond December 11, possibly extending government funding up to the holiday recess, to provide enough time to consider the omnibus bill on the Floor. If the text of an agreement is not released this week, it is likely another CR will be required. Adding to the busy legislative schedule, transportation reauthorization conferees hope to release an agreement this week, which would also require considerable Floor time in the Senate.
This Week’s Hearings: