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Bipartisan negotiators agree on 'framework' for omnibus spending bill

Bipartisan negotiators agree on 'framework' for omnibus spending bill
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., pictured at a news conference in July, said work on the omnibus spending bill will proceed quickly now that framework agreement has been reached. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Congressional negotiators announced Wednesday they have reached agreement on the framework for a massive government spending package, one day after the House passed a stopgap funding bill.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced that the bipartisan negotiating team has agreed on "a framework for fiscal year 2022 appropriations" after months of difficult negotiations.

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"I am pleased that we have reached agreement on a framework, which will allow our subcommittees to get to work finalizing an omnibus," DeLauro said.

"We will now proceed with great intensity to enact legislation making transformative investments to create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunity for the middle class, support the vulnerable who work hard and protect our national security."

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"In any successful negotiation, both sides have to compromise, and this agreement is no different," Leahy added. "But I believe we reached a strong, bipartisan agreement that will allow us to make significant investments in the American people and our communities."

Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, confirmed to The Hill that a breakthrough on a spending framework had been reached.

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The two parties will now quickly agree on the amounts to be included in a series of 12 massive spending bills, he predicted, allowing Congress to approve the measures and President Joe Biden to sign them in time to beat the new March 11 government funding deadline.

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None of the lawmakers offered details on the framework, including the biggest disagreement between the two parties on military spending levels relative to non-military discretionary spending.

The breakthrough came just a day after the House passed a stopgap funding to fund the government for another month and avert a government shutdown. The chamber voted 272-163 to fund the government through March 11.

House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland indicated he was frustrated it's taken so long to pass legislation to fully fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.

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"We should have passed all 12 appropriation bills to fund the government for this coming fiscal year that we're now in -- fiscal year '22 -- we should have passed that by Sept. 30," he said in an appearance on The Sunday Show on MSNBC.

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