The Senate, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid , has so far failed to resolve partisan differences on offsets for an emergency extension of long-term jobless benefits that expired for 1.3 million Americans on Dec. 28.
But any one senator could trip up the timing of the omnibusís passage, which also could raise the threat of a shutdown.
The future of the long-term farm authorization and the unemployment extension is murky. The farm bill continues to be tied up by a variety of colloquial interests. Leaders had planned to hold an open hearing the first week back in January to let members air their grievances through amendment votes to finally wrap the legislation. But those plans were canceled after once-shrinking policy gaps on dairy pricing and product-labeling burst back open.
On the unemployment issue, Democrats and Republicans still cannot find a mutually acceptable offset to pay for the bill and both parties seem to keep moving their demands in ways unpalatable to the other side.
United We Dream protesters carry a mock coffin to the office of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Monday, July 21, 2014, to hold one of their "funeral services for the Republican Party" due to GOP positions on immigration. The immigration reform group visited several other Senate Republican offices to hold similar funeral services.