A final budget omnibus package and the annual tax-extenders bill are expected to be ready for a vote Monday or Tuesday, but negotiations are still broad and ongoing.
The House on Friday passed a continuing resolution already approved by the Senate that will keep the government open past the original Dec. 11 deadline. The budget must now be passed by Dec. 16. Negotiators said they hope to come to agreement in talks over the weekend, but were not certain the bills would be ready for the floor by Monday.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Friday that the first House votes next week will come Tuesday.
Edwin Park, vice president for health policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said the budget could be tied to the tax bill, or they could be moved separately. Either way, lawmakers have been keeping their cards close to the chest.
“We don't have a good sense of what the controversial riders are,” Park said, adding that “It seems like everything is still in flux.”
Much is still to be decided in a tax-extenders bill that includes measures appealing to both parties. If lawmakers cannot agree to final language for a larger bill, a two-year extenders bill is available as a backup.
Either bill could delay implementation of the medical-device tax and the Cadillac tax under the Affordable Care Act. The Cadillac tax on high-end insurance plans has drawn ire from many Democrats, but there have been no proposals from either party for how to replace the funding it would provide if it is repealed or delayed.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday pushed for a repeal of the ban on funding for gun-violence research to be included in the budget package. She said it was a top priority for Democrats but did not offer any ultimatums.