House and Senate appropriators are racing to complete work on the $1.3 billion fiscal 2018 omnibus in time to go to the House floor by the end of next week. But contentious policy add-ons are complicating the process, reports CQ. Lawmakers are close to wrapping up the defense spending measure. “Some two or three things have been kicked upstairs to the chairman and ranking member. I don’t think they are major,” said Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), ranking member on the chamber’s defense appropriations panel.
The two-year budget deal reached last month provides an additional $143 billion for discretionary programs above statutory spending caps — $80 billion for defense and $63 billion for nondefense accounts — making deliberations over funding easier. As a result, the topline for national defense is $629 billion, with an additional $71 billion available in the overseas contingency operations account. The existing continuing resolution funding the government runs through March 23.