A spending package that will avoid a government shutdown is also expected to include the full funding measure for the Pentagon for 2014. (Department of Defense)
WASHINGTON — Congressional appropriators intend to include a full fiscal 2014 Pentagon spending bill in a massive compromise measure that must pass before next Tuesday night to avert another government shutdown.
Congressional sources said Monday the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees intend to include budget blueprints for a dozen federal departments in the omnibus spending bill.
“The goal is to complete all 12 bills — including defense,” a House Appropriations Committee aide told Defense News.
Vincent Morris, communications director for the Senate Appropriations Committee, wrote in response to a query on a full defense bill: “That’s the plan.”
In a blast email to reporters Monday afternoon, Morris said House and Senate appropriators “definitely hope to arrive at an agreement this week.”
“We made a lot of progress over the holidays,” he told reporters.
The appropriators are able to complete the omnibus — and its department-specific parts — because the chambers’ Budget Committee chairs, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., crafted and shepherded to passage a compromise budget resolution.
The Ryan-Murray budget plan, among other things, provides just over $30 billion in sequestration relief for the Pentagon across 2014 and 2015. It accomplishes that via other federal spending cuts.
Getting a full-year appropriations bill would be the latest in a string of victories for the Pentagon, defense sector and their shared congressional allies. First came the Ryan-Murray deal and its sequestration relief, then passage of a 2014 defense policy bill, and now likely a full spending bill.