Unknowns Abound on ‘Cromnibus’ — Even for Steny Hoyer

Hoyer could be the key to finding enough Democrats to pass the "cromnibus." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Hoyer could be the key to finding enough Democrats to pass the "cromnibus." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted December 9, 2014 at 12:34pm

All of Capitol Hill is watching and waiting for text of the so-called “cromnibus” to be revealed and the House’s No. 2 Democrat is no exception.  

At his weekly pen-and-pad briefing with reporters Tuesday morning, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland told reporters that he, along with most others, expected the fiscal 2015 appropriations package to be filed before the end of Monday, keeping Congress on track to adjourn for the year on Thursday and avoid a government shutdown.  

Now, Hoyer said, the prospect of having to pass a two- or three-day continuing resolution to keep federal operations running while lawmakers cross the T’s and dot the I’s is looking more likely. And it’s still not clear, even at his leadership level, what outstanding items were keeping appropriators from moving forward in the process, Hoyer insisted. He mentioned that among the “90-plus” policy riders being debated, a “a large number” of issues had been resolved.  

He insisted he didn’t know which riders were still the subject of disagreement at the negotiating table, or whether part of the hold-up had to do with a stalemate over the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which has now reportedly come down to whether House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, can compel Senate Democrats to make some concessions to the 2010 financial regulatory bill known as Dodd-Frank, much maligned by the GOP.  

Shortly after Hoyer concluded his briefing, a senior GOP aide confirmed to CQ Roll Call that it appeared more likely than not that House Republicans would bring a long-term TRIA reauthorization to the floor separately. If that decision stands, and the cromnibus still fails to materialize over the next few hours, it’s anybody’s guess what are the other areas where Democrats and Republicans disagree.