Republican House Appropriators indicated this week that they have been authorized to begin negotiations with their Senate counterparts on completing the 11 remaining FY17 appropriations bills. The current continuing resolution (CR) funding the federal government expires on April 28. Congress may try to pass the bills individually or, as Republican House Appropriators proposed to their leadership this week, in one big omnibus. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said that Republicans will not support a CR funding the Department of Defense through the remainder of FY17. And House Energy Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) said that he is not supportive of an effort to just pass a defense spending bill and then do a CR for the remaining 10 bills. An omnibus also is the most practical approach given that the House is only scheduled to be in session 28 days from now until April 28 while the Senate is scheduled to be in session 33 days during that same time period.
Thornberry also mentioned this week that he expects the administration to submit their FY17 defense supplemental spending request to Congress by March 1. It was originally reported that Defense Secretary Mattis had sent a memo to his department requiring that the FY17 budget amendment request be delivered to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) no later than March 1, 2017.