Funding bill will wait until December

An omnibus spending bill that would prevent a government shutdown by funding federal agencies through September 2015 won’t be released for several weeks, House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing told The Hill on Monday. 

The bill will likely be released the week of Dec. 8, Hing said. The government will shut down after Dec. 11 without a new funding bill.

The timing would give lawmakers just a day or two to debate and vote on the new legislation in both chambers.

It’s possible Congress might extend a continuing resolution funding the government for a short period of time before they pass the omnibus measure that would cover the government through Sept. 30, 2015. 

{mosads}Lawmakers wound up passing a three-day-long continuing resolution in January before passing the full spending package for the rest of fiscal year 2014.

Hing confirmed the omnibus bill would contain funding at the levels set by the budget agreement last December by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Their deal set the budget ceiling for fiscal 2015 close to $1.014 trillion. 

It’s unclear if the new bill will include requests from the White House for funds to fight Ebola and the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Asked about those requests, Hing said, “I can’t speculate on what may or may not be included.” 

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) told CNN last week that congressional leaders who attended a White House lunch with President Obama on Friday agreed they need to vote on an omnibus spending bill in the lame-duck session. 

Lawmakers return to Washington on Wednesday, the same day the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Ebola funding. 

The White House last week announced it is asking Congress for $6.2 billion more to fight Ebola at home and in West Africa, and $5.6 billion more for the U.S. fight against ISIS.

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