Omnibus Deal Still Possible As Friday Deadline Looms
Over the weekend bipartisan appropriators made enough progress that Democrats are putting plans to introduce their own versions of a fiscal 2023 omnibus and yearlong stopgap funding bill on hold. Democrats were initially going to introduce both measures today in order to try and force Republicans’ hands but weekend discussions were productive enough to shut down those plans. If negotiations do fail, it’s highly likely lawmakers will pass a full-year continuing resolution (CR). Congress must pass an omnibus bill or another stopgap measure by midnight Friday, December 16 in order to avoid a partial government shutdown. While weekend negotiations didn’t produce top-line numbers for the annual spending bills, enough movement was made to produce more optimism on the Hill.
A week-long stopgap is highly likely - even if appropriators reach a deal soon there is not enough time to get an omnibus bill written and passed in both chambers before the deadline. Lawmakers are expected to take up a stopgap bill extending current funding through Friday, December 23 if a framework deal is reached. Republicans and Democrats have both agreed to about $858 billion in defense spending, about a 10 percent increase over FY22, but there remains a disparity over nondefense spending, which has been the holdup for weeks. Democrats are seeking about $26 billion more in nondefense spending than GOP appropriators are willing to spend. Defense officials have warned that a yearlong CR would threaten military operations and maintenance.
The Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2022, which was initially expected to pass the House last week, is back on the House’s tentative calendar for this week. The legislation would do away with limits on the number of people from a given country who can receive employment-based visas and has bipartisan backing as well as support of major tech and employer groups. The limitation has led to lengthy green card backlogs, particularly for applicants from China and India, two countries with a sizable number of high-skilled workers who are in demand by U.S. employers. A previous version of the bill was passed in both Chambers but the Senate adopted an amendment to disqualify applicants affiliated with the Chinese military or its ruling political party that was not acted upon by the House before the end of 2020.
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Initial Jobless Claims
In the week ending December 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 230,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 225,000 to 226,000. The 4-week moving average was 230,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 228,750 to 229,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending November 26, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate.
Click here to access the report.