Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Congress Releases Omnibus Legislation for FY 2016

Drew Thies

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled an extensive spending bill late Tuesday night, in a deal that stripped out many Republican rider hopes but will fund the government deep into 2016.

The 2009-page bipartisan compromise provides line-by-line guidance to every agency through September 30, 2016, at which point lawmakers will need to take action to appropriate the remainder of the funds allocated in the current budget.

The House is scheduled to vote on the legislation Friday, in accordance with Speaker Ryan’s rule to give lawmakers three days to read the legislation.

The GOP also set up another vote on Tuesday on a package of “tax extenders,” which will expire at the end of the year. The tax legislation will likely be a party line vote with Republicans supporting and Democrats opposing. The tax package and the spending proposal will be sent to the Senate as one bill, increasing the likelihood the deal will make it to the President’s desk.

The $1.15 trillion package also ends a 40-year ban on exporting crude oil and funds an expired land conservation account but drops more controversial propositions, such as stricter controls on refugees and campaign finance.

Congress sent a short-term continuing resolution funding the government until December 22 to the Senate, as current funding expires tonight at midnight. The last day of scheduled legislative work this year is December 18th. 

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