With time running short before the end of the year, the leadership in Congress has chosen to wrap six of the remaining seven appropriations bills into an omnibus bill and get the FY2010 budget to the President before the Continuing Resolution (CR) runs out on December 18. An omnibus bill is when Congress will attach multiple, unfinished appropriations bills together and pass them as one bill. The seventh outstanding appropriations bill is the defense bill, and that will be handled separately.
House and Senate Appropriations Committee members met late Tuesday evening to conference and agreed the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill, or H.R. 3288, would be the vehicle for this omnibus bill. This bill will also include the Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services, Labor-HHS-Education, Military Construction-VA, and State-Foreign Operations bills. The House then took the next step this afternoon and passed the $446.8 billion omnibus bill with a 221-201 vote. This bill contains $213.5 million for the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) which is state grants for public libraries.
Next, the omnibus is still seeking Senate approval before it is sent to President Obama for his signature. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) expects the Senate to take up the omnibus either this weekend or early next week.
Assistant Director, OGR