House and Senate negotiators on Thursday night reached a tentative agreement on a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would avert a government shutdown, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee announced.
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said he expected the conference report to be filed later Thursday for a vote in both chambers Friday.
“I am hopeful that the House and Senate can pass this bill tomorrow to prevent a government shutdown, fund critical programs and services for the American people and cut spending to help put the nation’s finances on a more sustainable path,” Rogers said in a statement. “In spite of many unnecessary obstacles, it is good to see that responsible leadership and good governance can triumph.”
The 1,200-page legislation funds most of the federal government for the balance of fiscal 2012.
Republican leaders claimed they had a handshake agreement earlier in the week, but they said Democratic negotiators refused to sign off because the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (D-Nev.) held up the agreement to gain leverage in a separate year-end dispute over the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.
Democrats said some issues remained unresolved, including travel restrictions with Cuba. According to House Appropriations Committee ranking member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), a rider preventing Cuban-Americans from traveling to Cuba was removed from the package as part of the final bill. Riders preventing the District of Columbia from funding abortions and stopping a forced transition from incandescent light bulbs were left in the bill after the final round of talks.
"While the final bill may not be perfect, it nevertheless reflects a compromise that clearly resulted from the direct involvement of all of the ranking Democratic members, and thus I intend to support it," Dicks said in a statement.
The other final sticking point on the conference report was funding for Wall Street reform. The White House had wanted to tack on to the bill as much as an additional $103 million for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to implement the Dodd-Frank law. In the end, the GOP succeeded in limiting CFTC funding to the $205 million it was allocated in last month's minibus appropriations bill. At the last minute, however, the administration was given the authority to use $10 million of that funding, set aside for information-technology improvements, to implement Dodd-Frank.
The House GOP had planned to try to advance a standalone version of the omnibus unilaterally on Friday, but Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) warned the party that it would get no support from her party.
Now Republicans expect bipartisan support for the official conference committee report.
Congressional leaders were still trying to hammer out an agreement on the payroll tax Thursday night.
This story was posted at 9:20 p.m. Thursday and last updated at 9:34 a.m. Friday.
Erik Wasson contributed.