December 15, 2022
It was announced this week by lawmakers in each federal house and belonging to both parties that a bipartisan framework for a full-year, a Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) omnibus spending bill, has been reached. In September, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would keep the government funded through December 16, 2022. While the framework for a FY23 omnibus spending bill has been agreed upon by both parties, there is still much negotiating to be done on the finer details of the funding.
Because of the work still to be done, Congress is not expected to reach an agreement by this Friday, when the current CR will end. However, Congress is expected to sign another CR that would extend the deadline to next Friday, December 23, 2022.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was quoted on govexec.com saying that the deal "should allow us to finish an omnibus appropriations bill that can pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by the president." The Senator continued, "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."
One point of contention was top-line amounts for defense and domestic spending. The Senate is expected to pass an annual defense authorization bill via bipartisan means sometime this week, which would account for an approximate 10% defense budget increase, up to $858 billion for FY23. Democratic lawmakers continued to push for equal increases in non-defense spending; however, Republicans have pushed back on that, citing major spending bills passed by Democrats through the reconciliation process. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated that Republicans would only agree to non-defense spending increases that would bring the total price for the omnibus bill up to the level President Joe Biden included in his proposed FY23 budget.
Even though announcements have been made of a FY23 omnibus budget agreement framework between the two parties, many Republican representatives have voiced their opposition to passing a full-year funding bill at this time. Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, has not signed off on any bipartisan agreement, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly stated that he was a "hell no" on any omnibus bill. As reported on govexec.com, Rep. McCarthy has pushed Sen. McConnell to approve only a continuing resolution into January, then restart negotiations when new members are sworn in as Republicans take over the House.
Click here to read more on this story.