Spending bill progress

SPENDING BILL PROGRESS: The House is set to vote today on the giant omnibus spending bill. Once the House acts, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to call up the bill on the same day with a cloture vote coming on Thursday or Friday. David Rogers notes this is the first time in years a bill this large has been written by a congressional committee rather than leadership offices and says, “This pride of authorship and return to a committee process is hugely important for lawmakers after the partisan disarray of the past year.” While this bill awaits passage, the House approved a short-term spending bill which keeps the government functioning through Saturday: David Rogers for POLITICO: House to vote on bipartisan budget
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE STALLS: Talks in the Senate to extend unemployment insurance halted yesterday after signs of a deal appeared last week. “Democrats and Republicans accused each other of bad-faith negotiations, and by late Tuesday they had rejected each other’s latest proposal. After parliamentary votes to advance the legislation failed, senators moved on to debating the bill to fund government agencies through 2014. Congress leaves town Friday for a weeklong recess and will return Jan. 27, the earliest that new talks could provide a breakthrough on an unemployment plan,” writes Paul Kane. Lawmakers need to come to an agreement on this issue as 1.3 million unemployed Americans are left with uncertainty: Paul Kane for The Washington Post: Unemployment benefits won’t be extended until at least late January as Senate deadlocks
OBAMA MEETING WITH SENATORS: President Barack Obama is meeting with Senate Democrats today in hopes to build a stronger relationship with them for the upcoming year. Senators were upset about the lack of communication with the president and White House staff last year. While this is a step in the right direction, both sides of the aisle will have to start meeting with each other more frequently to build trust and have honest conversations: Amie Parnes and Justin Sink for The Hill: Democrats hope Obama meeting means more humility in 2014
NO LABELS RADIO: Stan Collender spoke with Gov. Jon Huntsman and Co-Founder Kiki McLean about the recent budget deal and what to expect this year. Listen to the conversation now.
PROBLEM SOLVERS RETIRING: Problem Solver Reps. Jim Moran and Bill Owens have announced they will not seek reelection this coming fall. We thank them for their dedication to problem solving in Washington.
STAT OF THE DAY: Only 13 percent of Americans approve of the jobs senators and representatives are doing, according to GallupMatt Vasilogambros for National Journal: Hey Congress: How Low Can Your Approval Rating Go?

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