House and Senate Appropriations staff continued work through the holidays on an omnibus spending package to fund the government for the remainder of FY 2014 and avoid another shutdown scenario. As you will recall from our recent budget deal blog, Congress approved the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 last month and it was signed by President Obama December 26.
The government is currently functioning under a Continuing Resolution (CR) which is due to expire January 15. Reports indicate that negotiations are ongoing and lead appropriators continue to push for, and staff continues to work on, a 12 part omnibus. The pressure is on to complete all 12 spending bills, in light of the looming expiration date of the current CR and the next congressional recess which is slated for January 17. Given this scenario, a short term extension of the current CR may be in order. Any extension would be short, as Appropriations leadership wants to encourage complete passage before Congress breaks for its mid-January recess. Barring any major disagreements between top appropriators, the omnibus could be released as soon as mid-week to allow time for passage in both chambers.
Please stay tuned to Health Centers on the Hill for appropriations updates as the process moves forward.