House set to vote today on $1T CRomnibus; Senate vote expected soon 

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2014

The House today will vote on a mammoth spending bill to keep most of the government open for the rest of the fiscal year.

Federal funding expires at midnight, and it remains to be seen if the Senate will vote on the bill right away. A separate vote is scheduled in the upper chamber today on a defense bill that includes a massive lands package.

Aides said yesterday that they expected the Senate to be in session at least through tomorrow, and potentially through the weekend, to complete work on the spending and defense bills as well as a package of temporary tax incentives, known as extenders. If the Senate is unable to consider the spending measure today, aides said, a one- or two-day CR could be passed relatively quickly to prevent a shutdown while debate in the upper chamber continues.

After a marathon session, the Rules Committee last night set up the vote on the $1 trillion bill to fund U.S. EPA, the Department of Energy and most other federal agencies for the rest of the year while providing short-term funding for immigration enforcement as Republicans plan to try to block President Obama’s recent executive order on that issue next year. The bill has been dubbed the “CRomnibus,” since it combines an omnibus appropriations bill for most agencies and a CR for the Department of Homeland Security through February.

The House plans to adjourn for the year after passing the spending bill this afternoon.

Some conservative Republicans plan to vote against the funding measure because it does not defund Obama’s immigration policies, and liberal Democrats raised alarms yesterday about a provision loosening bank regulations. But supporters are confident there will be sufficient support to pass the bill, which was crafted in lengthy, bipartisan, closed-door negotiations over the last several weeks.

It proposes slight cuts in funding at EPA and Interior and a slight boost to DOE’s budget, and generally steers clear of controversial policy riders, aside from preventing the listing of the sage grouse as an endangered species and reinforcing exemptions for farmers from Clean Water Act rules.

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also said that before adjourning he would like to confirm a number of Obama’s nominees to various administration posts, but it is unclear whether that would include vacancies at EPA and the Department of Energy.