Congressional Republicans and Democrats completed a deal on FY2016 appropriations and a package of tax provisions, but needed another short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 2250, to allow time for votes in both the House and Senate.
The CR extension passed the House and Senate today by voice vote before the current CR runs out at midnight tonight The five-day CR will run until midnight Tuesday, December 22.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that the House will vote on the Tax extender bill tomorrow and the FY2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill on Friday.
The FY2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill will fund the 12 appropriations bills at the level agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 agreed to in October.The total federal funding amount of $1.1 trillion provides $548 billion for defense base budgets and $518 billion for nondefense budgets. Funding for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) accounts totals $73.7 billion. The Omnibus is expected to pass in the House and Senate and the White House has indicated the president would sign the bill.
The Omnibus also includes a number of policy items that had caused much disagreement between Republicans and Democrats during negotiations. For example, the bill imposes new restrictions on travelers entering the US from countries currently not required to have visas. The House had passed legislation barring refugees from coming into the US until a new vetting system is implemented, which the White House strongly opposed.
The Congress also reached agreement on a bill that extends or makes permanent more than 40 expiring tax credits that had been subject to hard bargaining between Republicans, Democrats,and the White House. The bill extends many tax credits. It also makes permanent the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit for low and moderate income families, a priority for Democrats and the White House. The bill permanently extends the research and development tax credit. House Democrats are expected to oppose this bill because the lost revenue is not offset, but Republican leadership appear to have enough support to pass the bill.