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Tipsheet

Omnibus Framework Deal Reached Without House GOP

AP Photo/Mark Tenally

On Tuesday night, it was announced that lawmakers had agreed to the framework for an omnibus deal to fund the government, which must pass by December 22. A short-term continuing resolution (CR) must also pass for December 16, just days away now. The statement announcing that a framework deal had been reached came from Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who is retiring, as well as Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). 

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Reporting from The Hill also includes more on the statement:

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday night said negotiators had “reached a bipartisan, bicameral framework that should allow us to finish an omnibus appropriations bill that can pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by the President.”

Leahy said he reached the deal with Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

“We have a framework that provides a path forward to enact an omnibus next week,” DeLauro said, adding that the House and Senate Appropriations committees will “work around the clock” to negotiate the final spending bills for 2023.  

“The pain of inflation is real, and it is being felt across the federal government and by American families right now. We cannot delay our work any further, and a two-month continuing resolution does not provide any relief,” Leahy said.

Telling, missing from that statement is any House Republicans. That may be because leadership is whipping against the CR. Republicans will take control of the House in the next Congress, and seem hesitant at best to give Democrats more control than necessary in a lame duck session:

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The main battle for Republicans is how long the continuing resolution expected to be passed this week should last. House GOP leaders are clamoring for a stopgap proposal to last into January when Republicans hold the majority, giving them more leverage over the funding bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last week indicated that might be a possibility given the slow pace of talks between Leahy, Shelby and DeLauro toward a top-line spending bill. 

House Republican leaders on Tuesday called on their members to vote against the one-week continuing resolution in a bid to win more control over the process and push matters into the new year.

“This one-week continuing resolution is an attempt to buy additional time for a massive lame-duck spending bill in which House Republicans have had no seat at the negotiating table,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) office said in a whip notice. 

Passing the omnibus for December 22 affects whether or not members of Congress will be spending their Christmas and potentially even New Year's holidays working on funding the government. 

In addition to the timing, there's also what goes into the spending bill that is cause for contention. 

Reporting from POLITICO has more on that fight:

With a bipartisan framework in hand and legislative text largely written, lawmakers could be on track to clear the so-called omnibus just before the holidays. But timing is extremely tight and a number of pitfalls could complicate passage in both chambers, including a host of unrelated policy provisions that members will push to include before the start of the next Congress in January.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier Tuesday that a revamp of the outdated Electoral Count Act and emergency money for Ukraine will be included in the year-end bill. Other provisions, including tax provisions like an extension of the enhanced Child Tax Credit, are much less certain.

Senators have been working on a bipartisan deal to adjust the Electoral Count Act since Trump tested its limits on Jan. 6, 2021. Legislation passed the Senate Rules Committee in September with broad support, including from McConnell. Democrats and Republicans have also largely agreed for months that Ukraine will need more assistance before the end of the year.

The bipartisan, bicameral deal on a $1.7 trillion funding outline allows lawmakers to start haggling over the details and policy provisions that will be included in the broader government spending package.

At the same time, the House could pass a week-long stopgap as soon as Wednesday to extend federal cash through Dec. 23. That would ward off a government shutdown at midnight on Friday and grant lawmakers extra time to put the finishing touches on the sprawling bill that would boost federal agency budgets this fiscal year.

But even that short fix comes with its own risks in the Senate, where any one senator can hold up a bill to request amendment votes or other concessions — pushing the government closer to the shutdown deadline.

The main issue holding up the massive bill has been domestic funding levels, with Republicans insisting that the majority party already satisfied its priorities through recent party-line spending bills.

Democrats, meanwhile, have argued that billions in additional social spending is necessary to combat the effects of inflation.

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There also appears to be in-fighting between House Republicans and Senate Republicans when it comes to whether or not to support the deal. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is likely the next Speaker of the House, given he can overcome defections from a handful of members, is quoted in a CNN article as saying "hell no" about the spending package. The deal meanwhile has the support from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), whom McCarthy had called out as "wrong" if he supported the deal. 

That piece highlights how the differing stances between the two Republican leaders speaks to "a new power dynamic on the Hill."

While McConnell was handily selected once more as Senate Minority Leader last month, his party will remain in the minority, as Democrats have even expanded their majority now that Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) officially won reelection last week

"McConnell" has been trending over Twitter on Wednesday as people take issue with his support for the omnibus framework deal. 

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