Dems Reject GOP’s First Omnibus Proposal


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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Democrats shot down Republicans’ first omnibus proposal over opposition to roughly 30 policy riders tacked on to the plan with days to go before Congress hits its Dec. 11 deadline.

The government faces a shutdown if lawmakers fail to strike a compromise on the $1.1 billion must-pass measure.

Democrats are slated to unveil a counter proposal in coming days.

House Speaker [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore] had a 30-minute call with Minority Leader [crscore]Nancy Pelosi[/crscore] Tuesday before the proposal was rolled out.

A GOP aide close to the negotiations says the speaker urged Democratic leadership to consider the offer and encouraged Pelosi to allow the committee to do its job as the deadline is looming.

“The proposal was an Appropriations Committee offer, constructed by the Appropriations Committee,” said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for speaker’s office. “The speaker supported it, but he’s deferring to Chairman Rogers.”

Republicans floated the idea of tacking on controversial provisions, including language placing restrictions on President Barack Obama’s Syrian refugee plan and unraveling key components of the Affordable Care Act, to the critical legislation.

Democrats pushed back against the idea of any policy riders, with Senate Minority Leader [crscore]Harry Reid[/crscore] going as far as calling them a “partisan poison pill.”

Despite the hurdles Congress faces in striking a deal, optimism remains it will still meet the deadline.

“Significant progress is being made on the Omnibus, and it is expected the legislation will be ready for the House floor prior to the Dec. 11 deadline,” said Jen Hing, communications director for the House Appropriations Committee.

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