Trump Now Supports Omnibus Spending Bill After Meeting With Ryan

Update III: Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House have confirmed that, after an afternoon meeting with Ryan, Trump now supporters the $1.3 trillion omnibus package.

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Update II: Lawmakers haven't yet released a draft of their tentative omnibus spending deal, but already President Trump is having second thoughts about supporting it - leaving the spending bill, which would've allocated funding through the end of the fiscal year, essentially dead in the water, according to the Huffington Post.

HuffPo also reported that Speaker Paul Ryan plans to visit the White House Wednesday afternoon to try to sell the president on the GOP wins in the $1.3 trillion government funding bill and convince him that it's a good deal. Potential sticking points include $1.6 billion for a border security package, just $641 million of which was for a border wall.

Trump opposing the bill would likely inspire some pro-Trump Republicans, particularly in the House where his support is strongest, to drop their support for the deal. But even if it did pass, he could easily veto.

The Washington Post's Robert Costa reported that Trump is telling his associates that the GOP "owes him the wall"...





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Update: ...More details about the omnibus bill are trickling out.

According to Reuters, the measure will also include $10 billion in infrastructure spending for highways, airports and railroads, along with an increase of $2.8 billion to fund opioid addiction treatment, prevention and research. The bill will also include a fix to a "grain glitch" from last year's tax overall, according to Reuters.

The bill also reportedly includes billions of dollars for the FBI to fight election hacking, funding for a tunnel between New Jersey and New York City and $1.6 billion for "some fencing" along the Southern border, among other features. A Democratic proposal to expand a low-income housing tax credit also made it into the final bill.

Despite an intense snowstorm that has shut down swaths of Washington, lawmakers say they expect to unveil the full agreement on Wednesday.


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After GOP leaders announced that they would hold a House vote on their $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill on Monday, before postponing it to Tuesday (and then postponing it against to Thursday), Bloomberg is reporting that lawmakers remain deadlocked on several major issues that they'd hoped to resolve with what would be the first long-term spending bill of the Trump era.

However, one encouraging breakthrough was reported early Wednesday morning when a source close to the leadership told CNBC that Democrats and Republicans had reached an agreement on several key issues, including $1.6 billion in border security spending, as well as funding for opioid abuse treatment, a tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New York City and New Jersey, and nearly $400 million for electronic voting security measures. 

While aides said a deal is near, the two parties have reached tentative "agreements" in the past, only to see them unravel, sometimes in the middle of a vote.


Lawmakers are still fighting over DACA, provisions reinstating federal cost-sharing payments to insurance companies and other key issues. It's also unclear whether the President supports the border security package and funding for the NYC tunnel, something he vehemently opposes.

A continuing resolution passed in February (the fifth of the Trump era) expires at the end of the day Friday. And given the delays, it's looking like the vote won't happen until late Friday evening, at the earliest - giving the Senate little time to react.

Given that Congressional leaders of both parties have swatted away questions about another shutdown, it's possible that lawmakers would agree on another bare-bones stopgap bill if a breakthrough on the omnibus bill remains elusive.

Lawmakers may be required to work through the weekend to prevent federal agencies from shutting down in earnest when offices reopen on Monday - meaning they may need to delay the beginning of a two-week break.

"We’re going to do it this week," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. "And as long as that takes, that’s the time we’ll put in to get there."

During the most recent budget debate, the government technically shut down at 12:01 am Eastern Time on Saturday - the second shutdown in three weeks. After that, Congressional leaders struck a deal to fund the government through March 23, while also setting up an agreement in principle for a two-year budget.

Lawmakers are already hinting that this budget battle will also end in a stalemate.

"What will it take to get this done? Exhaustion," said Pennsylvania Republican Charlie Dent, a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

CNBC points out that a Nor'easter headed up the East Coast could complicate negotiations as roads and government services shut down. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the Washington region until Wednesday night. Already, federal offices have closed due to the weather.

Mark Meadows, the leader of the conservative Freedom Caucus, told reporters that the time-line budget items had already been agreed to - something he described as "the hard part."

"I'm not in favor of those numbers, because it grows the size of government by 13 percent," he said. "But those numbers have been agreed to."

A deal over preserving DACA, a top Democratic priority, remains elusive. President Trump recently tweeted again that Democrats "do not want to help DACA."



The omnibus bill, if passed and signed into law, would fund the federal government through the beginning of the next fiscal year.