Detail

Omnibus Spending Bill Delayed as Government Funding Deadline Looms

  • May 31, 2019

Lawmakers struggling over policy and program disagreements related to a $1.2 trillion “omnibus” spending bill have pushed a congressional vote to next week – closer to March 23, when current funding expires.

Lawmakers struggling over policy and program disagreements related to a $1.2 trillion “omnibus” spending bill have pushed a congressional vote to next week – closer to March 23, when current funding expires.

After President Trump signed a budget deal in February that ended a nine-hour government shutdown, a fifth Continuing Resolution is in place that funds the government through next Friday.  House and Senate appropriators have since been working on an all-encompassing omnibus, which would fund government programs through September 30, when the FY2018 budget period ends.  (Roundtable Weekly, Feb. 9)

Of importance to commercial real estate, the National Flood Insurance and EB-5 programs are funded through March 23.  EB-5 is operating under its 12th, short-term, status quo extension since Sept 2015.

Disputes over funding for various programs will delay release of the omnibus spending package text until Sunday night or Monday morning.  That timeline would likely result in a House vote on March 21, leaving only two days for the Senate to vote before current funding expires.  (BNA, March 15)

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) yesterday noted several programs that he does not expect to be included in the omnibus, including a bill that addresses the future of young undocumented immigrants covered by the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).  Cornyn also said a border security plan, including funding for a wall on the Mexican border, is also unlikely to be included in any funding legislation. (BNA, March 15) 

When asked if a sixth continuing resolution would be necessary to avoid a government shutdown beyond March 23, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL.), chairman of the House Appropriations Transportation-HUD Subcommittee, responded, “Oh God, please tell me no. I don’t think so. Maybe I’m just an optimist, but no, I really don’t think so.”  (BNA, March 15)

An omnibus spending package could be the last major bill passed by Congress before the 2018 midterm elections.

The government’s FY2018 budget and its effect on programs affecting commercial real estate will be a focus of The Roundtable’s April 25 Spring Meeting in Washington, DC.