Rogers hopeful despite blown budget deadline

The head of the House Appropriations Committee said Tuesday that he has some hope a budget deal could be done, despite the fact the budget conference committee failed to deliver a deal by Dec. 2.
 
Chairman Hal RogersHarold (Hal) Dallas RogersBottom line Appropriators face crucial weekend to reach deal Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE (R-Ky.) and his Senate counterpart, Chairwoman Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiLobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Raskin embraces role as constitutional scholar MORE (D-Md.), had said a top-line budget deal must be done by Dec. 2 in order for their spending panels to put together an omnibus spending package by Jan. 15, when another government shutdown looms. 
 
Rogers said appropriators could still try to put something together, likely over the Christmas holiday, if budget negotiators Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan says he disagrees with Romney's impeachment vote Trump doubles down on Neil Cavuto attacks: 'Will he get the same treatment as' Shep Smith? Trump lashes out at Fox News coverage: 'I won every one of my debates' MORE (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: Senate panel to hold hearing on US coronavirus response | Dems demand Trump withdraw religious provider rule | Trump Medicaid proposal sparks bipartisan backlash Democratic senators urge Trump administration to request emergency funding for coronavirus response Democrats demand Trump administration withdraw religious provider rule MORE (D-Wash.) could get a deal by the time the House leaves for the year on Dec. 13.
 
“Paul Ryan is optimistic. He feels good about things, that leads me to believe we have a chance here,” Rogers told reporters.
 
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“I would have preferred to have the number yesterday but obviously I’m not the boss of that process,” he said. “So hopefully we will get a number by the 13th, and we will try to make it work.”
 
Rogers indicated he would like to see as much of the $91 billion in sequester cuts hitting discretionary spending in 2014 and 2015 replaced as possible. The top appropriator has said he wants to see mandatory entitlement spending curbed to give more breathing room to agency operating budgets and infrastructure projects.
 
“If we get an agreement by the middle of December, the Senate and us will try to work something out and I think we can, if the number is halfway decent,” he said.
 
Regarding what else a deal should include, Rogers deferred to Ryan. 
 
“I want to leave the budget negotiators all the room that they need to come to an agreement,” he said. “My goal in life is to get back to regular order.”
 
If no deal can come together, Rogers predicted appropriators would have to work through Christmas to try to get a spending solution by Jan. 15. The House budget topline is $967 billion, and the Senate spending bills are written to $1.058 trillion. 
 
“We may have to call up Santa to bring some elves to help us out,” he said.