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WASHINGTON D.C.-Despite the fact that both sides of the aisle are still trying to hammer out an agreement over the payroll tax holiday, a tentative agreement has been reached on the $1 Trillion Omnibus Bill. This agreement will avert government shut-down that was looming at the end of the year.
The deal was announced by the Republican Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Hal Rogers from Kentucky yesterday. He said in a statement, “I am hopeful that the House and Senate can pass this bill tomorrow to prevent a government shutdown, fund critical programs and services for the American people, and cut spending to help put the nation’s finances on a more sustainable path. In spite of many unnecessary obstacles, it is good to see that responsible leadership and good governance can triumph.”
Today, Hal Rogers announced that the House will pass a one week continuing resolution that will keep the governments doors open, as well as the Omnibus Bill sometime today.
A deal for passing the Omnibus Bill apparently has been in the offing all week, but according to Republicans, the deal was held up by the White House and Senator Harry Reid. The reason for the hold-up on the bill was an attempt by those two parties to gain leverage for the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. There was concern that the House would leave town after passage of that bill, leaving the Payroll Tax bill in the lurch.
House lawmakers are expected to leave the capital today and come back next week to look for a deal on the payroll tax holiday. According to Speaker of the House, John Boehner, his caucus can expect that the coming deal will be a two month extension that will contain the language on the Keystone oil pipeline.
The deal in the works will not have wording that would include a surtax on income over $1,000,000, as that demand has been dropped by democrats in an effort to get Republicans to agree to the tax holiday. Both Republicans and democrats are still far apart on how to pay for that tax holiday with the surtax off the table. The bill will also extend unemployment benefits for two more months.
It is expected and has been said by the White House that any Tax Holiday bill coming to the desk of the president with language including Keystone will be rejected by Obama.
Warned that they would gain no support from the Democrat members of the House, Republican members shelved the stand alone version of the Omnibus Bill slated to come to a vote today. Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Dem.-Cal.), let it be known that there would be no support from Democrats for that bill.