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Congress weighs path forward on year-end spending bill

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 11/29/2022 Virginia Aabram
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Congressional leaders are weighing a path forward for a yearlong spending bill with 17 days to go before the current stopgap budget runs out on Dec. 16.

Party leaders in the House and Senate are in basic agreement that they will push for a proper yearlong spending bill instead of a continuing resolution, known as a CR, that would keep the government funded at current levels until a deal can be reached. Negotiators are expected to meet as soon as Wednesday to discuss the omnibus package after a meeting of congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday that clarified the lame-duck session's agenda.


"The best option by far is for both parties to come to the table and work on a yearlong funding bill, not a continuing resolution," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a floor speech Tuesday. "Lurching from one short-term continuing resolution to the next is a terrible and chaotic way to keep the government open. And ultimately, it’s average Americans who get a raw deal if the government is forced to function with one hand tied behind its back."

Schumer said during a press conference that the possibility of an omnibus follows the White House meeting. He and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have both signaled that they would trade the bill for a CR if absolutely necessary, but they hope to avoid this outcome.

“The door is open now to discussing an omnibus, which it wasn’t a few days ago because no one knew where everybody was at,” Schumer said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Tuesday he agreed to push for a yearlong budget, especially out of concern for the defense budget.

“I think there’s widespread agreement that we’d be better off with an omnibus than a [temporary CR]," he said after the White House meeting. "But there are some significant hurdles to get over to do that.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) did not specify how he wants to settle on funding through the end of the year. House Republicans have the least incentive to pass an omnibus bill, as they will take control of the lower chamber after Jan. 3 and could secure a bill more favorable to the GOP if they extend a CR merely through January. The conservative House Freedom Caucus has been adamantly opposed to the lame-duck House deciding on any new spending.


"The outgoing majority — if they don't want to work with us, we can get this work done in January as well," McCarthy said.

Congress may have to stay in session past the Dec. 16 deadline with the aid of a short continuing resolution to reach a longer-lasting spending deal. Being forced to stay nearly until Christmas would add pressure to the negotiators eager to head home for the holidays.


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Tags: Budget, Congress, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell

Original Author: Virginia Aabram

Original Location: Congress weighs path forward on year-end spending bill


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