Omnibus Agreement Reached, GOP Says

Party leaders forged deals on a fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill and a package of tax breaks, Republican lawmakers said late Tuesday night after a closed-door meeting of the conference.

Both measures were to be unveiled Tuesday night, with the House expected to take them up Thursday, reported CQ Roll Call.

With the second continuing resolution (CR) of the year set to expire midnight Wednesday, Congress also will need to clear a third stopgap to give both chambers time to consider the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.

The CR may need to run through Dec. 22 or 23 to give the Senate time to consider the omnibus, said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior appropriator. If all senators cooperate, though, the chamber could vote earlier, according to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

The House is expected to vote on the spending and tax measures separately under a rule that would merge the two bills before sending them to the Senate, according to the story.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told the Republican conference the party achieved the bulk of its victories in the tax package, while the final version of the omnibus largely was stripped of the contentious policy riders sought by the GOP, reported the Hill.

“This evening Republican members were presented an omnibus spending bill and a robust tax extender package that will provide permanent relief to families and job creators,” said AshLee Strong, Ryan’s spokeswoman. “While not getting everything we wanted, the speaker noted that both packages include many provisions that Republicans have long fought for,” she said.

The spending bill does not impose new restrictions on the acceptance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees and, instead, includes language reforming the visa waiver program, which has overwhelming bipartisan support. The decision to exclude a provision slowing the resettlement of Middle Eastern refugees in the United States is expected to cost the omnibus the support of some conservatives.


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