OVERNIGHT MONEY: Congress aims for farm bill deal

FRIDAY'S BIG STORY: 

Free to go: The Senate signed off Thursday night on a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill with little fanfare as Congress headed out of town for a weeklong recess.

With the budget taken care of through September, lawmakers will turn their attention to other pressing issues when they return for the last week of January. 

The stalled farm bill seemed to get a new life on Thursday with negotiators aiming to resolve their differences and produce a final bill sometime next week that can be voted on when everyone gets back to Washington. 

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The challenge has been finding a way forward on dairy subsidies, and lawmakers finally seemed to be making headway on the issue.

The thought of a compromise gave rise to a raising of the — well, milk glass on the Senate floor. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) raised his glass of milk Thursday on the Senate floor to celebrate the breakthrough.

“[Milk] is the only beverage that is permitted on the floor other than water,” Blumenthal said. “So I am pleased today to have milk on the floor. ... ‘Got milk?’ I’m willing to share."

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who was also on the Senate floor, praised Blumenthal for having a “calcium rich diet.”

Blumenthal, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, said he was “pleased” that farm bill conferees were nearing a deal on dairy policies.

 

WHAT ELSE WE'RE WATCHING 

Oh, Canada: Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will deliver remarks on Friday in Chicago with with Edward Fast, the Canadian international trade minister. The United States is in talks with Canada and 10 other nations on an Asia-Pacific trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

 

BREAKING NEWS

Get on the omni-bus: The Senate easily approved the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill Thursday, sending it to the White House for President Obama's signature and negating any chance of a government shutdown.

Senators voted 72-26 in favor of the bill, and all "no" votes came from Senate Republicans, including GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Whip John Cornyn (Texas). 

Obama has until the end of Saturday to sign it into law.

A day earlier, the House passed the omnibus bill 359-67.

 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS 

Housing Starts-Building Permits: The Commerce Department releases its December report on the number of residential units under construction along with building permits, which allow work to start and are a forward looking indicator of where the sector is headed.

Industrial Production-Capacity Utilization: The Federal Reserve will release its December report showing the physical output of the nation's factories, mines and utilities. The monthly report also provides a measure of capacity utilization.

Michigan Sentiment: Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan will release its January measure of consumer sentiment. 

JOLTS: The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for November evaluates the labor market's data on job openings, hires and separations.

 

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— Obama weighing executive action on minimum wage hike

— Reid walks back debt-ceiling remark

— Lew nudges up real debt deadline

— Boehner urges Obama to take fast-track authority appeal on the road

— Senate Democrats vow to hold more votes on UI renewal

— Republicans press for greater White House involvement on fast-track bill

— Biden to Ford: 'Thank you for saving our ass'

— Report: Funding for drone transfer blocked in spending bill

— Baucus races against clock on IRS probe

 

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