Negotiators Hope To Agree On U.S. Appropriations Bill By Week's End

 @LauraMatt on January 06 2014 1:36 PM
Washington DC Mall Dec
The Washington, D.C. mall looking east. Reuters

Negotiators in the House and Senate Appropriations Committees hope they will agree on a $1.012 trillion omnibus spending bill by the end of the week to prevent another government shutdown this month.

“We hope to have an agreement this week and today are continuing to negotiate towards that end,” Vincent Morris, communications director for the Senate Appropriations Committee, said on Monday.

The federal government is currently operating on a temporary stop-gap measure known as a continuing resolution. This legislation expires on Jan. 15, which means House Appropriations Chair Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and his Senate counterpart Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) must race against the clock to keep the government functioning. The deadline comes just before lawmakers scheduled a mid-January recess. However, a budget deal passed last month gave lawmakers a decent head start on figuring out how the money will be spent.

Under the bipartisan budget deal brokered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), discretionary spending levels will increase for both fiscal years 2014 and 2015. For FY 2014, the agreement caps non-defense spending at $491.8 billion, a $22 billion increase, while defense spending for the same period is capped at $520 billion, a little more than a $22 billion increase.

“Good progress on the Omnibus is being made,” said Jennifer Hing, communications director for the House Appropriations Committee. She added that a timeline for processing the bill hasn’t been set yet, but “the goal remains to negotiate and complete all 12 funding bills before the January deadline.”

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