After a night in which the Omnibus looked destined to fail, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) announced Thursday morning that he’s reached an agreement with colleagues on amendments to the 4,155-page Omnibus so the Senate can pass the bill later in the day and give the House a chance to act Friday before government funding runs dry. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-Arizona) introduced an amendment to increase border funding and resources for border communities and extend the Title 42 health policy that expedites the deportation of migrants seeking asylum in the United States. Sinema’s amendment could give political cover to centrist Democrats to vote against a proposal sponsored by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) to cut funding for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s office unless the Biden administration reinstates the Trump-era Title 42 policy. Democrats say Lee’s amendment would sink the Omnibus in the House if it passes the Senate. Sinema’s proposal would provide $85 million for immigration judges to speed asylum claims, $80 million for U.S. attorneys to prosecute border crimes and $140 million for increased detention capacity to hold smugglers and other criminals. It would also provide $100 million for increased drug enforcement at the border, $200 million to fill gaps in the border wall and $1 billion to increase U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention capacity, among other priorities. It is expected the Omnibus will pass the Senate today, and the House tomorrow.
The House convened at 9:00 A.M. and is considering H.R. 9640 – Presidential Tax Filings and Audit Transparency Act of 2022, S. 1942 – National Heritage Area Act, as well as seventeen bills under suspension of the Rules. Depending on timing of Senate passage of the Omnibus, the House may also take up the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2617 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023.
When the House and Senate adjourn this week, they will next be in session on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023 to swear in the 118th Congress.
Washington, D.C. Daily Update Will Resume Publication the Week of January 9th, 2023.