• Short-Term CR in Works as Talks Remain ‘Frozen’0

    Bipartisan negotiations over a year-end omnibus are stalled over whether to include about 40 contentious policy riders, forcing the House GOP to consider moving a short-term continuing resolution to provide the two parties a few more days beyond the Friday deadline to strike a deal. The stopgap would last “a handful of days” and allow the government to remain open past Dec. 11 when the current CR runs out, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Tuesday following a meeting of the Republican conference. The president would sign a CR that extends funding by an “extra day or two” while lawmakers “go through the legislative mechanics” of crafting and clearing a fiscal 2016 spending measure, said White House press secretary Josh Earnest …

  • With No Agreement Imminent, New CR Likely Needed to Keep Government Open

    With No Agreement Imminent, New CR Likely Needed to Keep Government Open0

    Negotiators trying to strike a deal on a year-end omnibus appeared no closer to a deal following a weekend of talks, with House leaders raising the possibility of a rare weekend session to give Congress more time to finish up work on a $1.1 trillion spending package for fiscal 2016. On Monday, senators from both parties showed little optimism that a deal could be reached shortly, reported CQ Roll Call. If Republicans and Democrats fail to reach an agreement in time for both chambers to pass an omnibus by Dec. 11, lawmakers would need to pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open after Friday …

  • Lawmakers Search for Compromise over Policy Riders0

    Democrats on Thursday continued to seethe following the GOP’s opening offer this week on a fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill, even after delivering their counteroffer the previous evening. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the proposal a “tea party policy wish list” and a complete reversal from weeks of work done by appropriators to find common ground on spending levels and policy riders, reported CQ Roll Call. The primary object of Democrats’ ire were more than 30 “poison pill” riders covering a variety of policy issues, including a recent federal rule to protect wetlands and waterways, the screening process for refugees from Syria and Iraq, and financial and workplace regulations …

  • Democrats Reject GOP’s Omnibus Proposal over Policy Riders

    Democrats Reject GOP’s Omnibus Proposal over Policy Riders0

    Democratic leaders on Wednesday slammed the Republicans’ opening offer for a fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill over more than 30 “poison pill” add-ons covering policy issues including the environment, financial regulations and Syrian refugees. “Their offer wasn’t real. We couldn’t accept it,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee. “When you’re working on a bill that, you know, we hope can pass the House and the Senate, you don’t send over an offer … that’s going nowhere,” Lowey said …

  • House GOP Moves to Sidestep Showdown over Refugee Issue in Spending Package

    House GOP Moves to Sidestep Showdown over Refugee Issue in Spending Package0

    House Republican leaders are planning to advance legislation tightening the visa waiver program as part of an effort to avoid a government shutdown over language many conservatives are pushing to restrict the acceptance of refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries. By moving a measure to make it tougher for some foreigners to travel to the United States without a visa, House leaders plan to avoid a fight in the fiscal 2016 omnibus spending package over more contentious language requiring the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to sign off on resettlement applications from Middle Eastern refugees. A bill overhauling the visa waiver program is expected to draw bipartisan support and most likely President Obama’s signature …

  • Second CR Possible, McCarthy Says

    Second CR Possible, McCarthy Says0

    A second continuing resolution (CR) may be in the works as the Dec. 11 deadline for clearing a fiscal 2016 omnibus to keep the federal government open quickly approaches. On Tuesday House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he was open to passing a one-week stopgap if negotiators need more time to complete work on the $1.1 trillion spending package, reported CQ. “I’m hopeful to get it all done and voted on by the 11th. If not, we’re here until the 18th and it won’t make any difference that we will get that done,” McCarthy told reporters …