Lawmakers Cite Progress on Budget Near Deadline
By CARL HULSE
Published: December 26, 2013
WASHINGTON — With the next budget deadline just weeks away, top lawmakers said this week that they had made significant progress negotiating a huge government-wide spending bill that gives the once mighty congressional Appropriations Committees an opportunity to reassert control over the flow of federal dollars.
“We have a chance to prove to the rest of the Congress that we can produce bills,” Representative Harold Rogers, the Kentucky Republican who is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in an interview.
The past few years have proved frustrating for members of the spending panels. With House Republicans unable to come to terms with Senate Democrats on a budget, the government has mainly functioned under a series of continuing resolutions that have taken the Appropriations Committees out of the game.
“It has been a real struggle and tough at times,” Mr. Rogers said.
While most members of Congress have scattered for the holidays, the panels’ bipartisan leadership and senior staff members have been assembling a $1 trillion measure that splits an extra $45 billion between military and domestic needs under the terms of the overarching budget deal reached this month and signed into law by President Obama on Thursday.