Budget Deal Close, but Hill Needs More Time
Congressional negotiators looking to finish off the last two major legislative tasks facing the chamber – funding the government and extending a slate of popular individual and business tax breaks – are close to the finish line.
Yet it’s likely they’ll need to have the finish line moved back a few days, with yet another short-term continuing resolution (CR), to wrap up negotiations and allow Members time to review the massive legislative packages expected to be released tonight or tomorrow.
Last week Congress approved a short-term CR, lasting through the end of the day on December 16
“Many of us in the Senate and the House and our staffs worked through the weekend and have made a lot of progress,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said. “Keeping the federal government open and funded is a congressional responsibility. I'm confident we will fulfill that most basic constitutional duty.”
Allocation of the $1.1 trillion contained in the government funding package between agencies has been settled, with congressional negotiators divided over inclusion of policy riders favored by Republicans and Democrats.
Negotiations over the massive tax extenders package, reportedly valued around $700 billion over a ten year window, are also divided along party lines with each side seeking to find permanency or extensions to tax provisions favored by their constituencies.
With both packages being negotiated in parallel, any significant last minute hurdle could threaten the entire negotiations thus far. That said, there is little talk of a potential for a government shutdown, with lawmakers wary of that development occurring heading into a presidential election year.
Posted in From the Hill