The Omnibus Has Arrived!
This week, Congress unveiled a bipartisan omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014–meaning it includes the final funding appropriations for all discretionary government programs. The bill is so large that Congress voted today to fund the government through this Saturday in a stop-gap measure to give each Member of Congress and their staff time to wade through all 1,500 pages of the bill. This marks the first time in four years congress has passed an omnibus appropriations bill.
At first glance, the RAC is excited by funding increases for the Headstart program and aid to Israel, but disappointed by the inclusion of funds for the only federally funded school voucher program in D.C. and restrictions on environmental regulatory restrictions.
But, the creation of the first bipartisan omnibus appropriations bill in nearly five years gives us hope about the future of this Congress and important issues that need to be addressed this session. We hope that Congress—at the very least—can use this goodwill and bipartisan cooperation to pass an extension of federal unemployment insurance without paying for it on the backs of the most vulnerable. Please take a moment and urge your Members of Congress to extend federal unemployment insurance and check back with RACblog over the next few weeks as we break down the contents of this bill issue by issue.