Congress Poised to Clear Omnibus Today

The House and Senate on Friday are scheduled to take final votes on the fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill agreed to earlier this week, with a tight contest expected in the House as both conservatives and liberals voice objections to various components of the $1.15 trillion measure.

Party leaders on both sides of the aisle were whipping votes Thursday ahead of Friday morning’s vote in the House. GOP leaders expressed confidence the spending package would pass despite the likelihood that conservatives would oppose it due to spending levels and the absence of favored policy riders, reported CQ.

“I don’t have any doubt it’s going to pass,” said Tom Cole, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Anytime you have a deal of this magnitude that leaders sign off on, the votes are usually there.”

With many Republicans expected to vote against the year-end funding measure, House passage will require Democratic support, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) were pressing undecided members Thursday.

Late in the day, Democrats believed they had corralled enough votes to guarantee passage, reported the Hill. “I think everything is back on track and the votes will be there tomorrow morning,” said a member of the Democratic whip team.

Assuming the omnibus clears the House, it will be attached to legislation extending a series of expired tax breaks that the chamber passed on Thursday and sent to the Senate, which is scheduled to quickly call up and pass the combined package.

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