House expected to vote on omnibus Thursday afternoon

House expected to vote on omnibus Thursday afternoon
© Greg Nash

House Republican leadership are planning to hold a vote on the omnibus spending bill between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

"Assuming all goes according to plan, we think we'll vote around 10:30 a.m. first series, procedural votes and then the omnibus, probably in the 12:30 to 1:30 window if all goes according to plan for tomorrow," a GOP leadership aide told The Hill on Wednesday evening.  

The final text was released Wednesday evening after lawmakers struggled for days to reach an agreement on the measure. 

GOP leadership touted the bill for its increase to military spending, highlighting how it provides the largest pay raise for the troops in a decade. 

"It's a bill that's got a lot of important wins for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE, this is a bill he supports because it funds our nation's defense, gives our troops a pay raise that they've been needing for 10 years," House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel On The Money: Senate approves 4B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice' MORE (R-La.) told The Hill.

"It brings back air superiority. You know we're tired of seeing planes fall out of the sky in training exercises and us losing great servicemen and women. Our troops deserve better. And this bill gives them the tools that they need," Scalise continued, adding they are still whipping the measure. "There is a lot left to do. Obviously, we just started talking to our members since it just got filed."

The bill faces pushback from conservatives in the House who argue that lawmakers are not being provided with enough time to review the bill. 

“The policy proposals outlined in this $1.3 trillion spending bill are not consistent with what we told the American people we would do when they sent us to Washington. Many of the policies in the bill are in fact the opposite of what we promised. This bill barely provides for border security, yet continues to allow federal dollars to flow to sanctuary cities," the House Freedom Caucus said in a statement.

"It includes the ‘Fix NICS’ proposal, without including reciprocity for Americans with concealed carry licenses — something congressional leadership promised would not happen," the statement continues. "It also fully funds grants that go to Planned Parenthood while making no changes to reduce Obamacare’s burdensome regulations on America’s families."

The rule vote could prove to be the higher hurdle. Democrats generally vote against rules, regardless of the underlying legislation. And members of the far-right Freedom Caucus have been highly critical of the omnibus, going after GOP leaders over both the spending levels the package contains and the short window lawmakers have been given to read the bill and weigh its merits.

If Freedom Caucus members chose to oppose the rule to protest the process, they could likely delay the vote on the spending package.

House Democrats, meanwhile, are vowing to hold the line in opposition to the rule. If GOP leaders want Democratic support to pass the rule and move the omnibus, the Democrats say, they’ll have to stage a series of votes on legislation to protect "Dreamers."

Leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are already vowing to whip against the rule to force a series of votes on salvaging the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Trump is trying to dismantle. 

Mike Lillis contributed.