- The government shutdown ended in October with a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funded the government through January 15. With that date approaching, the House passed a short-term CR that will fund the government through Saturday to avoid another shutdown while a larger, omnibus spending bill is negotiated that will fund the government through the rest of this fiscal year. The Senate is expected to pass the short-term CR this evening.
- The omnibus spending bill will have 12 parts; the omnibus will be a comprehensive package of 12 different spending bills. Lumping 12 spending bills into one huge bill–that currently stretches to 1,582 pages– allows for two things: first, political cover for lawmakers who have inserted pork projects in the bill, because it is so large no one will really read it until after it has passed; and second, such a big spending package mitigates the opportunity for lawmakers to debate the merits and demerits of certain provisions that deserve to be debated, like funding for Head Start.
- The omnibus spending bill is expected to cost $1.012 trillion. However, as Romina Boccia at the Heritage Foundation pointed out last week:
“The Ryan-Murray budget deal increases spending by $45 billion above the spending caps agreed to in 2011 by a bipartisan majority. While this new spending level presents the upper limit, it would be close to a miracle if Congress spent any less than the $1.012 trillion included in the budget deal. Instead, it is more likely that Congress will try to spend even more by exploiting budget gimmicks.”
- According to the budget deal that passed last month setting spending at $1.012 for 2014, $491.7 billion will be dedicated to domestic spending and $520.5 billion will be dedicated to defense spending. As the Wall Street Journal notes, the bill also will include $92 billion in emergency funds for potential crises overseas. How the spending in those categories will be allocated exactly depends on how that money is appropriated.