House panel advances 'cromnibus' spending package

House panel advances 'cromnibus' spending package

Members of the House Rules Committee advanced the “cromnibus” spending package late Wednesday, making way for a likely Thursday vote in the House.

The GOP-dominated committee voted to insert an amendment into the funding bill proposed by Reps. John Kline (R-Minn.) and George Miller (D-Calif.), the heads of the House Education and Workforce Committee, to reform the way companies pay their retirees' pension funds. It would allow beneficiaries of struggling plans to adjust their benefits in an effort to save struggling funds without a federal bailout.

"This bill gets a lot of good things done for the American people," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said. "This pension deal is a huge, huge victory for the American people and American taxpayer.”

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The GOP lawmakers on the panel rejected all of the other amendments proposed to the spending measure, including several proposals to defund President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. 

While those efforts were unsuccessful, some Democrats still expressed concern over other portions of the bill. The panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) called it a “profoundly flawed piece of legislation.” 

Republicans blocked Democrats from stripping language to repeal a provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law and language loosening limits on campaign contributions to political parties’ national campaign committees.

Republicans also rejected several other amendments by Democrats that would prohibit funds to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), until Congress votes on an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF). The other tried to strip out language from the funding legislation that would relax school nutrition standards championed by first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObama on social media: You’ve got to ‘think before you tweet’ MSNBC trolls Trump with video montage of Obama saying ‘Merry Christmas’ Overnight Regulation: USDA delays healthy school lunch requirements | Senate panel advances controversial environmental pick | Drone industry pushes to ease rules | Dem commish joins energy regulator MORE

The House is expected to vote Thursday on the “cromnibus” package and will also vote on a continuing resolution (CR) lasting only several days that is meant to give the Senate more time to consider the main spending bill without shutting down the government. 

The Senate would also need to vote on that CR Thursday and will likely vote on the “cromnibus” Friday or over the weekend.