December 16, 2013
Today the Senate will resume consideration of pending nominations and then turn to the budget deal on Tuesday with a vote likely by mid-week. Top appropriators are beginning negotiations on an omnibus FY2014 spending package in anticipation of the Senate clearing the $85 billion budget deal this week that would boost overall spending levels. Congress will need to approve that omnibus before January 15th to avoid another government shutdown.
But appropriators face challenges in advancing some domestic spending proposals. Appropriators are assembling a $1.012 trillion omnibus spending package that will continue fresh FY2014 dollars for most but not all federal agencies. It is possible that the most contentious measures, like Labor-HHS-Education and Interior-Environment, may be carried forward through continuing resolutions rather than be included in the omnibus in order to avoid bitter partisan debate on those topics. Defense and security spending measures including Homeland Security, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Defense enjoy the broadest levels of support in the two chambers and are all but certain to be included in an omnibus.
The House is not in session. They will return after the New Year.