The House Appropriations Committee is planning to post a trillion-dollar-plus spending package on Monday, Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) told reporters on Thursday.
Rogers said he agreed with his Senate counterpart, Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiHarris invites every female senator to dinner next week Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? Bottom line MORE (Md.), to finish all work on the “cromnibus” legislation by 6 p.m. on Friday.
This will “give staff enough time to read through the bill and do the weekend work and get it ready to post Monday morning, hopefully,” Rogers said. “That's the timetable and we're on track.”
The “cromnibus” consists of 11 long-term spending bills that fund most of the government through next September and one short-term bill funding the Department of Homeland Security.
Rogers declined to provide a specific date for the expiration of the continuing resolution (CR) funding the DHS, but indicated it could be earlier than he initially proposed. Appropriators will “follow leadership’s suggestions and ideas,” he said.
“The plan is for Homeland to be on a CR until February-ish. And all the other bills will be in an omnibus for the balance of the year,” Rogers said.
The Appropriations chief also said he couldn’t provide any details about the level of funding for efforts to combat Ebola and operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) because negotiations are ongoing.
If the cromnibus is posted Monday morning, lawmakers will only have a few days to review it before Thursday deadline. Congress must pass a new spending bill before next Friday or the government would shut down.
Asked why they’re rolling out the measure at the last minute, Rogers said putting together comprehensive funding legislation takes a lot of time and work.
“Look, we were given less than a month to put an omnibus bill together for the entire government for the entire year — a trillion-dollar-plus deal with tens of thousands of items,” he said.
“Since the Senate did not pass any of the appropriations bills, it forced us to put together an omnibus and so the Senate kept us from doing these bills individually,” he added. “We're doing the best we can with it.”