Reid to push omnibus, avoid another stopgap spending bill

Tuesday - 11/29/2011, 9:08am EST

By Jolie Lee
Web Editor
Federal News Radio

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he will move a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill to avoid another continuing resolution.

The government is currently funded on a stopgap funding measure that expires Dec. 16. This is the second CR since the beginning of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.

The Hill reports Reid told reporters on a conference call Monday that there is not enough time to pass the individual spending bill or to pass smaller packages called minibuses.

"We hope to work this process through so we won't do a CR," he said in the call. "We have already passed a number of appropriations bills. We would put all the others into one package and try to get them done."

The deficit deal in August set discretionary spending for fiscal 2012 at $1.043 trillion and fiscal 2013 at $1.047 trillion.

But Congress is also tackling several other issues —"the expiration of the Alternative Minimum Tax patch, a variety of business tax breaks, the freeze in scheduled cuts to doctors' Medicare payments, the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits," The Hills reports.

Taken all together, the package could actually add up to nearly $1.4 trillion and pose a challenge to clear the Republican-controlled House, the Hill reports.

So far, only three of the 12 appropriations bills have passed. On Nov. 18, President Obama signed a $182 billion minibus for three spending bills that covered Agriculture; Commerce, Justice and Science agencies; and the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

RELATED STORIES

'Minibus' Congressional appropriations by the numbers

Bill averts shutdown, funds some agencies at 2012 levels