Washington is busy anointing winners and losers in the 11th hour spending deal struck late Friday to avert government shutdown, but meanwhile the staffs of the House and Senate appropriations committees are busy at work negotiating the fine print.
“The agreement was on overall funding levels and some of the more controversial policy riders,” said Jennifer Hing, spokeswoman for House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, “the rest of the policy riders and funding levels for individual programs are still under negotiation.”
The issue is important because the House-passed spending bill, H.R. 1, included scores of policy riders – issues that remain unresolved even as the public views the deal with finality.
Hing said the committee staffs are “making progress” and hope to file legislative text reflecting the deal Monday night.
Among the policy riders on which we know were decided: National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting survived, funding for Obamacare survived, and Planned Parenthood survived, although Republicans get a guaranteed up or down vote on defunding that organization, America’s largest abortion provider, in the Senate.
Additionally, none of the dozens of riders curtailing strict new environmental regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency are included.