Washington leaders have yet to unveil a $1.1 trillion omnibus package and the holiday countdown clock is ticking.
Lawmakers already blew through the Dec. 11 deadline and were forced to pass a short-term funding bill to keep the government’s lights on through this Wednesday.
In the meantime, they’ve been hammering out the details in closely watched but private negotiations. Reporters have been expecting the final version to be released publicly for the past several days, in part because Ryan has promised to give his members a couple of days to digest the package before making them vote on it. But as of midday Monday, everyone is still waiting.
A spokesman for Ryan told TPM that “negotiations continued throughout the weekend and progress was made but there is no deal yet and the discussions continue.”
If House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) cannot wrap up negotiations Monday, it’s likely lawmakers will need to pass another short-term funding bill to keep the government open into next week. Getting members home for the holidays is the ultimate deadline.
Ryan looks to be sitting in the same position Boehner often found himself in: struggling to attract the conservatives in his conference to a last-minute funding package. For Boehner, that ultimately resulted in the speaker turning to Democrats to keep the government funded. If Ryan needs Democrats that badly it would benefit Democrats who have been fighting off a cadre of policy riders on everything from Syrian refugees to rollbacks to Dodd-Frank.
In the background, the White House is pushing Congress to act sooner than later in order to avoid the holiday push that has become so customary on Capitol Hill. White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Friday that the president was not willing to give Congress additional “weeks or months” to work on the bill .
During a Friday press conference, Ryan appeared calm and in control saying, “Deadlines come and deadlines go. We want to make sure that we get it right.”
But there is not much time left for Ryan if he wants to be home for the holidays and Congress must also put together and pass a $900 billion tax extenders package that is still under wraps.