Nov. 29, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Cooperation a Distant Goal for One Spending Bill

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Harkin, center, chairman of the related subcommittee, said the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill could pass if leaders allow it to reach the floor.

“It’s not going to be easy, but you try to do what you think is best,” said Kingston, who indicated the measure would likely be one of the last to be considered.

Some advocates of domestic programs said their expectations are not very high for the bill. Packer said he expects a continuing resolution, at least until after the election, and the fate of the underlying programs for the rest of fiscal 2015 will likely be determined by the November elections.

“Because the top-line number for nondefense discretionary is virtually the same for fiscal 2015 that it was for 2014, if you have a CR the numbers wouldn’t be that different than if you had a regular appropriations bill, to be honest,” Packer said. “It’s not like there’s a big pot of extra money lying around.”

But Cole said clearing the bill would send a strong message to constituents who have tired of congressional gridlock. “It would be a gesture of goodwill and a huge sign that we’re returning, step by step, to regular order and that we’re actually doing what the American people expect us to do, which is to compromise,” he said.

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