Lawmakers Nearing Deal on Appropriations

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., leads the chamber's Appropriations Committee. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., leads the chamber's Appropriations Committee. Drew Angerer/AP file photo

Congressional appropriators are very close to finishing a deal that would set the funding levels for each federal agency, according to multiple reports and lawmakers involved in negotiations.

Vincent Morris, a spokesman for Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters Monday that negotiators “hope to arrive at an agreement this week.” Senate and House lawmakers were hard at work while Congress was on recess, and they “made a lot of progress over the holidays,” Morris added.

Lawmakers have until Jan. 15 -- when the current continuing resolution expires -- to reach a deal. Mikulski, and her House counterpart Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., are trying to pass 12 separate bills collectively in an omnibus package that will mandate spending levels across government for the remainder of fiscal 2014.

Mikulski said that some “sticking points” remain, but that a deal was “within striking distance,” according to a report in Politico. “I think we’re going to get it,” she added.  

The deal would allocate a little more than $1 trillion for fiscal 2014, slightly boosting agency spending from fiscal 2013, thanks to the December budget agreement that partially repealed the sequester. Some of the issues still in limbo involve funding for President Obama’s major first-term legislative victories, most notably his health care and financial sector reforms.

Still, lawmakers remain optimistic they can reach a deal, which would allocate on a line-by-line level how each agency must spend its money for the rest of fiscal 2014. The current continuing resolution provides agencies with much more freedom to decide how to spend their money. Slightly more than half of the $1 trillion-plus omnibus bill would go toward Defense, which also would receive its own detailed funding bill as part of the package.

Congress is scheduled for recess on Jan. 17, and lawmakers have left open the possibility of passing a short-term stopgap spending bill to keep the government open between Jan. 15 and Jan. 17, if they need an extra couple days to hammer out any final details.

Though the optimism for a return to regular, if somewhat delayed, order has inspired a sense of relief on Capitol Hill, many of those involved in discussions still are not happy with how the bill has taken shape.

“We are looking at narrowing the differences, looking at…how we can compromise without capitulation on both sides,” Mikulski told the Associated Press.  

Some Republicans have expressed discontent about the Pentagon’s funding level, but were glad just to erase the uncertainty that has dominated during the last few years.

“They are just looking for some predictability, stability,” Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Defense appropriations subcommittee, told AP. “I think we have it.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.