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2014 Omnibus Spending Package Not Yet Finalized

January 2014

House and Senate Appropriators are moving closer to passing an omnibus spending package funding government programs for the remainder of fiscal year 2014, but the bill is now not expected to be ready for passage before the deadline of January 15, 2014, when the current measure funding government operations expires. This means that passage of a two–three day temporary funding measure to keep the government running will be necessary next week, while the final measure to fund 2014 government programs for the remainder of the year works its way through House and Senate floor vote procedures.

Although the Joint Budget Committee co-chaired by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), passed an overall budget agreement in December, this bill only provided top-line budget numbers for appropriations committees, who are now finalizing specific agency spending levels for 2014. Appropriators had hoped to have the omnibus ready for a House vote this week but the House and Senate committees have not yet agreed on the bill. The omnibus must be considered by the House first before the Senate votes and if the House does not pass the bill before Tuesday evening, passage of a temporary measure will be necessary to keep the government operating.

The budget agreement reached in December eliminated budget sequestration for most agencies although there is the likelihood of smaller funding cuts for some agencies. The NIH will likely be spared a funding cut for 2014, but there is the possibility of a funding reduction for the CDC.

At this point, it appears that six of the twelve appropriations bills are close to finalization. The key sticking points preventing final agreement on the package include funding for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which some Republicans are seeking to cut, and other policy riders, including some on environmental issues.

Last Reviewed: October 2017