$1.1T spending bill could be unveiled Monday night

Republican and Democratic lawmakers negotiating a $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill made progress over the weekend but aren’t expecting to unveil legislation until late Monday night or sometime Tuesday.

There was “progress made over the weekend but significant issues remain,” one Democratic aide said Monday morning.


AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.), echoed that same message: “Negotiations continued throughout the weekend and progress was made but there is no deal yet and the discussions continue.”

The talks remain notably fluid — and remarkably secretive — as the clock ticks down toward the extended deadline for federal funding, which expires at the end of Wednesday. Congress needed to pass a five-day continuing resolution last Friday to avert a government shutdown and buy more time for negotiations.

GOP leaders are scrambling to demonstrate they can govern effectively since winning both chambers of Congress. The 16-day shutdown of 2013 damaged the Republican brand, if only temporarily, and both Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have vowed to prevent a similar crisis this year.

But they're facing intense pressure from their right flank to include numerous conservative policy riders, while Democratic leaders, who have significant leverage in the form of the Senate filibuster and the president's veto pen, are fighting to strip those same provisions from the package.

The riders span a range of issues, from Wall Street reform and environmental policy to labor regulations and a Republican bill halting President Obama’s Syrian refugee program to ensure tougher screenings.

The underlying clash — pitting Ryan against House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump says he opposes mail-in voting for November On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans The bipartisan neutering of the Congressional Budget Office MORE (D-Calif.), a fierce negotiator — has created the ongoing impasse and raised real questions about the timing and content of a final deal.

Ryan has pledged he’ll abide by the GOP’s three-day rule to give lawmakers enough time to read the massive bill.

That means if the bill isn’t introduced until Tuesday, the House will be delayed to Thursday, forcing Congress to pass yet another short-term funding extension.

President Obama has said he’ll support short-term continuing resolutions to allow Congress to pass a long-term deal, but that he won’t sign another extended CR.

“There is no agreement right now. And then there will be some logistical things that need to happen to assemble and file,” said another Democratic aide familiar with the talks. “So I just don’t know — it will be ready when it’s ready.”

Pelosi and the Democrats appear ready to accept a major policy change by allowing an end to the current ban on crude oil exports — a reform long sought by the petroleum industry and Republicans on Capitol Hill. But the Democrats’ compromise won’t come without significant concessions from across the aisle, and the prolonged stalemate appears largely rooted in the fight over what the Democrats can win in return for the oil export provision.

The debate has become enmeshed with the battle over a separate legislative package extending a long list of tax breaks for both businesses and families. After a series of short-term extensions, lawmakers in both parties want to make many of those permanent. But Pelosi and House Democrats say the package, in its current form, is both too big and tilts too heavily in favor of corporations at the expense of individuals and federal revenues.

Pelosi has pushed to index the child tax credit to inflation, which Republicans oppose. Even then, Pelosi has warned, the package would have trouble finding support among House Democrats.

“From my standpoint, and some of my members even think with extenders indexation in it they wouldn't be for the bill, because it's too big,” Pelosi said Friday. “It undermines our ability to get something done for the future.”