Leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees said they have reached a bicameral, bipartisan agreement on a framework for full fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations bills that would fund Federal government operations through the end of the current fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

While no top-line number or framework package has been publicly released, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate expressed confidence that the agreement will eliminate the need for further continuing resolution (CR) funding agreements.  The House earlier this week approved its version of a CR extension through March 11. Currently, Federal government spending authority is set to lapse on Feb. 18.

“The bicameral, bipartisan framework announced today means we’re in very good shape to complete an omnibus and avoid a CR, which will hurt growth and millions of Americans,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a press release. “After a year of historic economic growth under Democratic leadership that saw an unprecedented number of jobs created and historic wage increases, this omnibus will build on the middle-class investments that are lowering costs for everyday Americans.”

The latest House-passed CR – if matched by approval of an identical agreement by the Senate – would give Congress until March 11 to negotiate, debate, and pass a full-year omnibus bill. To cement that due date, the Senate will need to pass its CR bill and send it to President Biden’s desk for his signature by Feb. 18.

That’s expected to be a minor hurdle, and the appropriations subcommittees are already working on their respective appropriations bills under the assumption that March 11 is the deadline, according to a release by House and Senate Appropriations Chairs Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

“I am pleased that we have reached an agreement on a framework, which will allow our subcommittees to get to work finalizing an omnibus,” Rep. DeLauro said in the release. “We will now proceed with great intensity to enact legislation making transformative investments to create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunity for the middle class, support the vulnerable who work hard, and protect our national security.”

Sen. Leahy said he believes this agreement will ultimately lead to the passage of an omnibus spending bill in the coming weeks.

“With this agreement we will be able to invest in our communities and provide increases for health care, education, our national security, and invest in the middle class, among other priorities,” Leahy said. “In any successful negotiation, both sides have to compromise, and this agreement is no different. But I believe we reached a strong, bipartisan agreement that will allow us to make significant investments in the American people and our communities. I look forward to crafting a bill that will receive strong support in both chambers in the coming weeks.”

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.