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Republicans, Democrats Near Budget Deal

US Capitol lit at night
With a midnight Saturday deadline looming, Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are moving closer to a deal that will keep the federal government running. (Reuters)

A budget deal between House Republicans and Democrats may finally be coming together.

According to The Hill newspaper, both sides are coming to agreement, although there remains several issues left to be hammered out. Both sides had been negotiating over policy riders—amendments unrelated to larger bill that advance policy goals for one side or the other—with a midnight Saturday deadline looming.

According to the report, a temporary funding bill will be adopted Friday night to avoid a government shutdown. The compromise bill is expected to be introduced Monday, with a final vote on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Republicans control both chambers of Congress, but do not have the votes to invoke cloture in the Senate, meaning Democrats can stop any legislation there they do not like. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also has President Obama's "veto pen" to add leverage in the discussions.

Already off the table are measures to defund Planned Parenthood, to repeal ObamaCare and to halt the president's Syrian refugee program. Also, several Republicans have vowed to vote against the final bill because it will spend too much money.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, a year-end tax package appears to be shaping up as well. Should that bill pass, it could make passage of the House spending bill much easier.

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