Second CR to Buy Negotiators More Time for Omnibus Talks

Second CR to Buy Negotiators More Time for Omnibus Talks

Congressional negotiators are aiming to release the text of a fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill early next week after the Senate on Thursday passed a five-day continuing resolution (CR) that would give lawmakers until Dec. 16 to finish work on the $1.1 trillion package.

Advancing a second CR became necessary as a dispute over what policy provisions will be included in the year-end funding measure has prevented party leaders from reaching an agreement. The House is scheduled to vote on the stopgap by midnight Friday, when the current CR expires, reported CQ Roll Call.

Talks have been hung up over dozens of riders dealing with issues including Syrian refugees, environmental and financial regulations, health coverage for abortion-related services and oil exports.

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said Thursday he does not expect the omnibus text to be available until early next week. “I think it’ll take us at least until Monday,” Rogers said.

The slow pace of talks means Congress still will have trouble meeting the new Dec. 16 deadline, which would require lawmakers to pass another stopgap measure.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said it is his “hope and expectation” that the House will post the text of the spending package Monday, which would set up a passage vote Wednesday. Under that scenario, the Senate would clear the measure and avert the need for another CR, according to the story.

Dan Cohen
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