The House of Representatives started the New Year with bipartisan cooperation passing the 2014 "Ominbus" spending bill with a vote of 359-67 on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. The bill allots nearly$1.1 trillion for the 2014. The bill's passage ensures that there will not be repeat of October 2013 government shutdown, and funds the government until the end of the 2014 fiscal year. The Senate plans to vote on the spending bill on Friday with President Barack Obama likely signing it hours later.
House and Senate agreed on Monday evening, Jan. 13 to the $1.012 trillion "omnibus" spending bill that will fund the government until Sept. 30 and will avert a another government shutdown. The Chairs of House and Senate Appropriations Committees, Rep. Harold Rogers, R-KY and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-MD drafted the bipartisan spending bill. Rep. Rogers was pleased with the result of spending bill, stating; "This bill is not perfect, I hate to tell you, but it is a good one."
On Monday the House and Senate Appropriations Committees issued a joint statement on the spending bill, which read; "As with any compromise, not everyone will like everything in this bill, but in this divided government a critical bill such as this simply cannot reflect the wants of only one party."
USA Today notes that it the first time since records starting to be kept in 1989 where Congress passed the spending bills in one lump, rather than individually. Congress' turnover to pass the spending bill was faster than ever; in six days the House and Senate agreed on the bill, would have passed it and have President Obama sign it all meeting the Jan. 18 deadline when the continuing resolution expires. An interim 3-day stop-gap spending bill was passed by Congress and signed by the President on Wednesday, Jan 15 to extend government funding from Jan. 15 to Jan. 18 to get the "omnibus" spending bill passed.
The House passed the bill despite the fact that a majority in the House did not have enough time to read through the 1,600 page bill. The "omnibus" spending bill consists of the 12 necessary spending bills for the year, but does not include spending bills for either Social Security or Medicare, which is dealt with separately and will cost $2.196 trillion for the year.
Despite the bill passing with an overwhelmingly amount of support, including a majority of Republicans, 64 Republican representatives mostly Tea Party conservatives voted against the bill primarily because it increases spending and does do enough to cut the deficit.
The spending bill is based on the on the bipartisan budget deal passed in December by both the House and Senate and signed by President Barack Obama. The budget deal had been devised a bipartisan committee consisted of 29 lawmakers from both the House and Senate, headed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI the chairman of the House Budget Committee and Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA the chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee. The committee had until Dec. 13 to come to an agreement so a bill can be passed before January when the short-term spending bill times out.
The budget framework outlines government spending for the next two fiscal years 2014 and 2015, each year's budget will be "just over a trillion," more than 2013's budget, capping spending at "$1.012 trillion in fiscal year 2014, and $1.014 trillion for fiscal year 2015." The budget also replaces the sequester cuts, the unpopular across the board budget cuts. There is less headway in reducing the deficit, but there is still some effort included with "targeted spending cuts." To please Democrats there were no cuts to Social Security and Medicare and neither are their funding part of the yearly spending cap.
- House Vote 21 - Passes $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill, NYT, Jan. 15, 2014