Omnibus Talks Still Not Wrapped Up

Negotiators made substantial progress over the weekend on a fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill, and as of Sunday afternoon both parties were aiming to release the text of the measure late Monday.

Significant issues still remained as Democrats and Republicans strived to strike a deal on a $1.1 trillion year-end spending agreement, though, and the schedule remains uncertain, reported CQ.

The latest timeline means Congress may be forced to pass a third continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown after midnight Wednesday. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has pledged to follow the GOP rule requiring legislation to be available for three days before the chamber can vote on it, so lawmakers likely will need at least one additional day to clear the omnibus. The Senate also would need additional time to advance the spending package.

On Friday the House passed a five-day CR, which President Obama signed later that day.

The omnibus is expected to contain full-year spending plans for all 12 annual spending bills. One outstanding question Republican leaders need to determine is whether to attach a package of permanent tax extensions to the spending package.

House Appropriations Chair Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) on Friday described the high-level talks as “slow” and “snail-like, glacial, in fact.”

Dan Cohen
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