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Senior Lawmaker: Congress Expected to Take Up Omnibus Spending Bill Next Month

Dec. 12, 2013 - 07:11PM   |  
By JOHN T. BENNETT   |   Comments
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US Rep. Tom Cole said January could see passage of extensive appropriations legislation. (Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON — Congress could take up a massive appropriations bill in January that would fund the entire federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

House Republican Deputy Whip Tom Cole, R-Okla., said Thursday on the House floor that Congress will move “an omnibus” appropriations bill next month or “a series of mini-omnibuses.”

The GOP leadership member was using Capitol Hill parlance to describe a single piece of spending legislation that would keep the government open beyond Jan. 15.

That’s when the existing “continuing resolution” that is funding the Pentagon and other federal agencies will expire.

Members of both parties in recent weeks have expressed interest in coming back into session after the holidays and almost immediately passing a spending measure that will avoid a second government shutdown in several months.

Pundits and analysts say doing so is in the political interests of both Republicans and Democrats because many lawmakers face re-election in November, and control of the Senate could be in play.

In past years, including 2013, House and Senate leaders have opted to include a full-year Defense Department appropriations bill in a government-wide omnibus.

Several aides have told Defense News there is interest in doing so next month. They say, however, that no final decision has been made on how the legislation will be constructed.

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