In time to avert a government shutdown, lawmakers agreed late Tuesday to a $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds most of the government through September 2015 and gives the Securities and Exchange Commission a slight budget boost.
The measure, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, is being called a “cromnibus” because it includes both short-term (or CR) measures within a longer-term omnibus bill. Lawmakers could pass a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government if both chambers fail to pass a larger measure by Thursday at midnight.
“This agreement means no government shutdown and no government on autopilot,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a late Tuesday statement. “In today’s era of slamdown politics, we were able to set aside our differences. Working across the aisle and across the dome, we created compromise without capitulation.”
“As we close in on our Dec. 11 deadline, we now ask that the House and Senate take up and pass this bill as soon as possible, and that the President sign it when it reaches his desk,” Mikulski said.
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Mikulski said that the spending bill meets the nation’s national security needs (the bill provides funding to the Department of Homeland Security only through February), provides funds to respond to and prepare for Ebola “at the epicenter,” addresses the nation’s health care and education needs, as well as “protects the opportunity ladder by increasing Pell Grants and making college more affordable.”
But lawmakers and lobbying groups are up in arms over riders attached to the bill that address derivatives and retiree benefits.
The bill allocates $1.5 billion to the SEC, which is $150 million more than the agency’s fiscal 2014 enacted level but $200 million less than the $1.7 billion requested by President Obama.
An SEC spokesperson said in a Wednesday statement that the agency is “pleased that the draft FY 2015 appropriations bill includes additional funds for the SEC. These funds are critical to the SEC’s ability to fulfill its important mission, including permitting us to increase our examination coverage and to continue to hire industry experts and modernize our technology.”