Rep. Frank Wolf believes a budget bill is near. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Congress is preparing to approve a three-day continuing resolution to avert a partial government shutdown as lawmakers hustle to put the finishing touches on a full-year spending package.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., introduced the three-day extension late last week as a replacement for an existing CR that expires this Wednesday. The House will likely take up the extension up early this week, with a Senate vote coming soon after.
The extension is intended to buy time for Congress to pass the full-year fiscal 2014 package. That omnibus bill, worth about $1 trillion, will flesh out last month’s budget deal by spelling out what each agency will receive this year in discretionary spending.
At a Friday breakfast, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., told business leaders that he expected the package — which could be made public as early as Monday — to get final approval this week. Wolf declined to discuss specific funding levels except to say that NASA is well-treated.
Also optimistic is Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
“We’re making solid progress and I’m confident that next week we’ll have a bipartisan agreement that finds common ground,” Mikulski said in a statement, also on Friday. While the three-day CR extension is needed, Mikulski said, it is only to prevent any funding lapses as the full-year spending package moves through the House and Senate.
At Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group, Vice President Steve Ellis expected the final package to pass. The only alternative, he said, is a year-long CR.