The temporary measure, known as a "continuing resolution," would
keep government agencies funded through the end of next week,
instead of allowing all spending authority to expire at midnight on
January 15, Senate and House of Representatives aides said on
After vowing that they would complete the massive spending bill on
time, House and Senate appropriations committees are still trying to
resolve disputes over funding and policy provisions attached to the
measure, the aides said.
The "omnibus" measure, which combines 12 normal spending bills and
includes thousands of budget line items for everything from national
parks to weapons development programs, may not be ready for
consideration by Congress until the weekend, Senate Appropriations
Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski said on Tuesday.
That could leave too little time ahead of the January 15 dealine to
complete often lengthy procedural steps in the Senate. A House
Republican aide said that the time needed for Senate passage was the
primary reason for the stop-gap funding measure.
"We're working hard," said Representative Jack Kingston, a Georgia
Republican who chairs the labor and health subcommittee on the House
Lawmakers declined to divulge specific details on the remaining
unresolved disputes, but said progress was being made. One area that
has caused delays is the funding for implementation of "Obamacare"
health insurance reforms.
[to top of second column]
Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, a Democrat who chairs the Senate
Appropriations labor and health subcommittee, said he hopes those
differences will be resolved soon.
"I think we're close. It's just, we're working out some language
right now," Harkin told reporters.
The spending bill is needed to complete a two-year budget deal that
was reached in December and avoid a repeat of the 16-day shutdown of
government agencies in October that was prompted largely by disputes
over Obamacare funding.
The measure is aimed at easing automatic, "sequester" spending cuts
by providing an additional $45 billion in funding for fiscal 2014,
evenly split between military and domestic programs.
(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Andrew Hay)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.