A plan is emerging on Capitol Hill to avoid a government shutdown while also passing a full 2015 Pentagon spending measure, and a key senator is on board.
Republican lawmakers trickled out of a morning caucus meeting in the Capitol basement and signaled they have decided to move a bill that would fund all but one federal agency for all of 2015.
Excluded would be an appropriations measure that funds the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all of fiscal 2015, the GOP’s first legislative response to President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.
But included would be a bill to hand the Pentagon around $500 billion in base funding and likely over $60 billion in war funding, one House Appropriations aide said.
Several House members spoke to reporters following a closed caucus meeting and predicted something called a “cromnibus” is most likely to pass next week.
The bill would by a hybrid of the omnibus spending measure the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees had been working on for weeks. That measure would have included full-year spending bills for a dozen agencies, including the Defense Department.
The emerging “cromnibus” would also include a full Pentagon bill, as well as the same for many other agencies. But it would be merged with a continuing resolution for DHS in retaliation for the immigration action — hence the new moniker “cromnibus.”
Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., told reporters he expects a vote on the cromnibus next week.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday that “no decisions have been made at this point.”
“We’ll continue to discuss with our members a number of options in terms of how we will deal with this in consultation, again, with the members,” Boehner said.
If such a bill passes the House late this week, it would land in the Senate just days ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline. That’s when funding for the Pentagon and the rest of the government runs out.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hinted Tuesday he would bring a “cromnibus” to a vote and let the new Congress fight over immigration next year.