Washington--In a rare joint public appeal, the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations committees on Thursday asked that budget negotiators give them an answer before Thanksgiving on what the topline will be for discretionary spending over the coming year. In a letter, House Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and Senate Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), reflect the increased concern that Congress will again fall back on funding the government with a year-long continuing resolution that undermines the traditional appropriations process.
In essence, Mikulski and Rogers are asking for some decision soon enough for them to craft a 2014 omnibus package before the current CR runs out Jan. 15. Budget negotiators are now operating under a nonbinding deadline of Dec. 13, and Mikulski and Rogers fear this is too late for them to respond effectively. Instead, they are asking for an answer no later than Dec. 2 and preferably before Thanksgiving on Nov. 22.