What to Know in Washington: Congress Tees Up Year-End Omnibus

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Congress would boost federal discretionary spending, keep restrictions on funding for abortions, and trim Internal Revenue Service funds in a $1.7 trillion government funding bill released early Tuesday morning.

The 12-bill omnibus appropriations package would increase base military and domestic spending, add supplemental funding to aid Ukraine, and provide relief to areas affected by natural disasters. It would leave in place longstanding restrictions on federal funding for abortions and exclude measures proposed by Democrats to mitigate the effects of the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling.

Read the bill text here.

The bill must be enacted by midnight Friday night to avoid a shutdown. Senators are poised to vote first, after the House sent a legislative vehicle meant to expedite consideration.

Enactment would give victories to military-focused Republicans who touted the bill’s $76 billion boost in defense funding, but would frustrate conservatives who called on the GOP to oppose any funding deal until they take control of the House in January. The package provides increases for many domestic priorities for Democrats, though they had to compromise on abortion policy riders.

Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) in June 2021.

Each of the 12 appropriations bills in the package would get increases, to varying degrees, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee summary. Read more

More Highlights:

  • Electoral College: The legislation would change the way electoral votes are counted for presidential elections, clarifying that the vice president does not have the ability to toss out Electoral College votes. Read more
  • TikTok: Lawmakers included a ban federal employees from using Chinese app TikTok on government-owned devices in the bill. Read more
  • Children’s Nutrition: Legislation giving extra food aid to families with kids when they’re out of school in the summer made it onto the spending package. Read more
  • Interior, EPA: Appropriators included about $40 billion in fiscal 2023 for the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies in the omnibus. Read more
  • Clean Energy: The package would allocate $3.5 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and $7 billion for defense environmental cleanup activities. Read more.
  • Debt Ceiling: Lawmakers are forgoing the opportunity to attach an increase to the nation’s $31 trillion debt ceiling to the bill, setting up a fight next year with House Republicans. Read more
  • Marijuana Banking: Legislation to open banking services to marijuana businesses was left out of the funding package. Read more
  • R&D Tax: A slate of expired and expiring tax provisions are not included in a spending package. Read more

Also Happening on the Hill


  • The Senate meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday and plans to take up a US Navy nominee.
  • The House is scheduled to meet tomorrow.

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Senate Confirms FDIC Leadership, Additional Board Member

The Senate on Monday confirmed a trio of officials at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, including formalizing Martin Gruenberg’s promotion to chairman and installing a new vice chair for the independent government agency responsible for insuring deposits at US banks.

New House Panel on China to Scrutinize US-China Investments

The chairman of a new congressional committee on China says he plans to focus scrutiny on US investments in the country, amid broader concerns about the threat of economic warfare between the world’s two biggest financial powers.

Treasury’s Liang Chides Congress for Risking Debt-Limit Crisis

The US Treasury’s senior official overseeing financial markets warned that attempts by Republicans in Congress to use the government’s debt ceiling to force spending cuts next year could have “catastrophic” consequences.

Elections, Politics & Probes

Biden Condemns ‘Violent Venom’ of Antisemitism at Hanukkah Event

President Joe Biden, at a White House Hanukkah reception on Monday, said he understood the concerns of Jewish Americans amid rising antisemitism, and that his administration would stand with them.

Criminal Referrals, Tax Probe Add to Trump’s Political Trouble

The double-whammy of one House committee referring Donald Trump for criminal prosecution and another debating release of his tax returns adds to an accumulation of political blows that some Republican strategists say will further hobble the former president’s already troubled bid for another run at the White House.

Western Louisiana Becomes GOP Home Court for Suits Against Biden

Republican attorneys general are precisely targeting federal courthouses in western Louisiana where they see the best chance of winning.

Around the Administration


  • Biden has no public events on his schedule.

Supreme Court Justice Pauses Lifting of Title 42 Border Rule

Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked the scheduled ending of pandemic-era border restrictions while the US Supreme Court considers a bid by Republican state officials to keep the rules in place during a legal fight.

  • The White House urged Congress to provide additional border funding as the administration braces for another potential migrant surge if pandemic-era restrictions at the center of a court battle are lifted. Read more
  • El Paso, Texas, is moving migrants into hotels and opening several shelter facilities to cope with a surge of crossings into the state’s biggest border city. Read more

Treasury Outlines Timelines for Tax-and-Climate Law Provisions

The Treasury Department laid out its timeline for releasing guidance on provisions in Biden’s tax-and-climate law.

US Worries China Covid Outbreak Could Cause Virus Mutations

The US is concerned China’s runaway Covid-19 outbreak might spawn new mutations of the virus, as the world’s most populous country continues to grapple with the impact of loosening “Covid Zero” protocols that had kept the pandemic at bay.

Biden, Lasso in Washington Pledge Continued Security Cooperation

Biden and Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso held a summit at the White House to reaffirm commitments to cooperate on issues such as security and democracy, the Ecuadorian presidency said in a statement sent by text message.

Four Federal Contract Rulings Likely to Key New Disputes in 2023

As 2022 comes to a close, here’s a look at four federal contracts rulings issued this year that could lay the groundwork for further litigation in 2023 and beyond.

EPA’s Western Boss Uses Political Skills to Parry GOP Pushback

The new head of the EPA’s Great Plains region says she wants to use the political skills she gained during her eight years in the Colorado House, which culminated in a term as speaker of the chamber, as she sets about overseeing the territory.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michaela Ross in Washington at mross@bgov.com

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