House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is entertaining the idea that Democrats could consider a “minibus” spending strategy as a means to keep government programs and agencies funded for the rest of the year.
But Pelosi said Democrats would only embrace the approach if all government agencies would be covered for fiscal 2017.
“If the minibuses add up to an omnibus, if everything was included, that we can vote on something like that when we see the whole package,” the California congresswoman said Thursday. “You can’t say go with one bill, use up all the money, and say there’s nothing left for the others.”
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has backed breaking up the 12 individual spending bills into a few small packages rather than lumping them into a single omnibus bill.
The Wisconsin Republican endorsed the minibus plan during a meeting at the White House this week with House and Senate leaders.
But the plan was criticized by Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who said Tuesday that House Democrats want Congress to pass a short-term continuing resolution free of extraneous, partisan policy riders, and then enact an omnibus spending bill on or before Dec. 9.
“That’s the only reason to talk about a minibus, if you want to have a bus too small to carry all the folks,” the Maryland Democrat said.
The Senate is working on a stopgap spending package that would extend government funding to early December. Lawmakers continue to negotiate the text of the bill.