Third CR Needed to Fund Government until Omnibus is Cleared

Third CR Needed to Fund Government until Omnibus is Cleared

The House and Senate Appropriations committees on Wednesday filed a $1.15 trillion fiscal 2016 omnibus providing funding for every agency, wrapping up weeks of tough negotiations between the two parties covering questions of policy and funding.

By the time party leaders reached a final deal, the most contentious policy riders had been dropped, including provisions that would have limited Obama administration environmental, financial and campaign finance regulations, and effectively blocked the flow of refugees from Syria and Iraq, reported CQ Roll Call.

Adhering to House Republicans’ “three-day rule” means that chamber will not take up the 2,009-page measure until Friday. Senate leaders said they would need a high degree of cooperation from every member to complete consideration of the spending package before the weekend.

To avoid a government shutdown, both chambers on Wednesday approved a third continuing resolution (CR) that would keep the government running through Dec. 22. White House spokesman Josh Earnest indicated the president would sign the CR. Congressional leaders don’t believe they will need six days to pass the omnibus, but the extra time should ensure they don’t need to advance another stopgap, according to the story.

“Nobody, I think, sees any benefit of stringing this out any longer than necessary, so my hope is that we’ll be able to conclude this Friday,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the chamber’s Republican whip, told reporters.

The existing CR expired at midnight Wednesday.

Republican leaders praised the hard-fought omnibus deal. “While an end-of-the-year omnibus is not the preferred way to do business — it is always better to complete individual bills in a timely fashion — this bill will allow Congress to fulfill its constitutional duty to responsibly fund the federal government and avoid a shutdown,” House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said in a statement.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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