Appropriators nearing deal on $1 trillion spending omnibus

Congressional negotiators have resolved most of their differences on a $1 trillion omnibus bill but will not release legislative text on Monday as they had hoped.

Aides differed on the exact reasons for the delay.

A GOP aide said the delay is technical in nature and that “a bipartisan, bicameral agreement” is in place on the package.

A Democratic aide said that the White House, which has been intimately involved in the omnibus bill behind the scenes, was still reviewing the deal.

“There’s still a couple of open items that need to be ironed out. These aren’t deal breakers or game changers but are still important issues that need to be resolved,” the aide said.

{mosads}Congress must approve the omnibus or a temporary spending measure by the end of the day Friday to prevent a government shutdown.

Though they are still working out details, negotiators have been able to agree on a full nine-bill package that they plan to file with the House Rules Committee on Tuesday.

The package will include the Labor-Health and Interior-Environment bills, despite worries late last week that the two parties would be unable to resolve differences over those two spending packages. Aides said compromises had been worked out on controversial environmental, union and healthcare riders.

Another key compromise on the overall omnibus is an agreement to put disaster aid in a separate bill. 

The August debt-ceiling deal set a top-line spending limit in 2012 of $1.043 trillion for all 12 appropriations bills, but also permits additional disaster spending of up to $11.3 billion.

House Republicans want to limit total funding to $1.050 trillion.

The number is symbolically important since 2011 spending ended up at $1.050 trillion. 

To keep 2012 funding under the $1.043 trillion spending cap, disaster aid will not be included. Instead a separate vote will be held on the emergency disaster money. 

Negotiators had hoped to release the omnibus late Monday night and to hold a Wednesday vote in the House. If the bill is released on Tuesday, the earliest a vote could now be held is Thursday.

Aides said a Thursday vote is now planned, though a waiver from the Rules Committee could still allow a Wednesday vote. 

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