Negotiators Close to a Deal on FY16 Spending Package
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Republican and Democratic negotiators still had not completed a deal on a fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill Monday evening, but party leaders expressed confidence that an agreement would be reached sometime Tuesday.The current schedule essentially guarantees that Congress will need to pass a third continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown after midnight Wednesday.Some senior lawmakers indicated that party leaders would be able to take a deal on a $1.1 trillion funding measure to their conferences on Tuesday during previously scheduled lunches, while others said a deal more likely would not be reached until later in the day, reported CQ Roll Call.A combination of disagreements over policy riders and funding levels has slowed negotiations over recent weeks. Party leaders reportedly are hashing out a handful of contentious issues as some of the most controversial ones appear to be resolved.A House bill to slow the acceptance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees to the United States was not expected to be included in the final omnibus, according to the story. More likely to make the cut is a provision reforming the visa waiver program, which has broad bipartisan support.Democratic lawmakers said the package of permanent tax extenders would be voted on separately from the omnibus in the House, but would be merged into a single package for the Senate to consider. “The theory is the House will consider two votes and then they will merge them to send them to us for one vote,” said Richard Durbin (Ill.), the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat.The latest timeline probably will require lawmakers to remain in Washington for much of the week.