The Hill: FY2013 Appropriations Omnibus Could Surface Next Week
In September, Congress passed a six-month Continuing Resolution (CR) funding the government through March 27, 2013 because none of the regular FY2013 appropriations bills would be completed before the start of the fiscal year on October 1. The prevailing wisdom was that it was better to pass a long term CR that took the government through to next spring rather a short term bill that would require a lame duck Congress to deal with the issues after the election. Top appropriators apparently are having second thoughts, however.
The Hill newspaper reports that the chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are working on an omnibus FY2013 appropriations bill that could come to the House floor as early as next week. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) reportedly have agreed on the top-line spending numbers for each of the 12 individual bills that would be combined into the omnibus. The House has passed seven of the 12 already (including defense appropriations and the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill that includes NASA and NOAA); the Senate has not passed any.
Rogers is quoted by The Hill as saying negotiators have "a ways to go yet" and whether an omnibus actually reaches the floor is uncertain: "Whether or not there is going to be time on the floor, or we can muster enough interest in passing an omnibus ... remains to be seen." Advocates of moving forward with an omnibus bill believe it would be better to have FY2013 appropriations settled before any across-the-board cuts are imposed by a sequester or whatever deal is struck on the "fiscal cliff."
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