Congress 'Nearing the End' on Budget Deal

Sunday, 12 Jan 2014 09:59 PM

By Greg Richter

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House and Senate negotiators are closing in on a compromise budget deal, after a holdup on Obamacare funding appears to be settled, Politico reports.

Congressional leadership is hoping a finalized bill can be filed by Monday night and that it can be passed in both houses this week, the report said.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., were said to be making progress in in-person meetings after talks had gotten off to a rocky start on Thursday.

"There are some accommodations being made," said Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., told Politico. Among those accommodations are funding for Wall Street regulators and a Treasury Department request to meet promises to the International Monetary Fund.

The current stopgap spending resolution ends Wednesday, so a three-day extension is planned for Tuesday to give Congress through the end of the week to take action to avoid another government shutdown.

The initial version of the agreement was reached between Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in December just before Congress broke for the holidays.

Non-emergency funding is still limited to $1.012 trillion, as in the Ryan-Murray agreement, Politico reports.

"This is a trillion-dollar bill," Rogers told reporters last week. "Using Reagan's definition of a trillion — it's a 67-and-a-half-mile-high stack of $1,000 bills — a lot of money. A year's work in 30 days time with Christmas and New Year's in it. So our staff is running on fumes. But we're nearing the end."

The Pentagon will be getting about $570.5 billion, about $35 billion less than its 2013 approved amount before sequestration cuts took effect.

Nondefense spending will be about $491.8 billion.

Politico compares that to the last spending bill for Fiscal 2008 passed during the George W. Bush administration, and shows big wins by Republicans. Adjusting for inflation, Obama loses about 10 percent of the funding he wants for domestic programs.





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