Uglybus Shambles Towards Votes Today

So the very ugly omnibus (or “cromnibus,” if you wish, to use the neologism designed to reflect the temporary “C.R.” styling of the bill to fund all of the federal government except for the Department of Homeland Security until the end of hte fiscal year) appropriations bill shambles towards floor votes in both Houses today, and The Word from Politico is that Republican managers think they have the votes to head off a bipartisan revolt in the House:

The margin could be razor thin, but House Republicans think they will pass their funding bill before the government shuts down Thursday.

Top aides and lawmakers on the GOP whip team privately say they believe between 150 and 175 Republicans will support the $1.1 trillion, nine-month government funding bill. And senior House Democrats predict that some of their members will help make up for the Republican defections to get the bill across the finish line.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and his staff have been in contact with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) throughout the whole process, despite Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) public proclamation that Democrats were worried about provisions tucked into the bill that would loosen Wall Street regulations and campaign finance laws….

Of course, things could fall apart – it’s the last day of the 113th Congress, a less-than serendipitous two-year stretch that included a government shutdown and plenty of misjudgments by the House Republican leadership.

But the state of play in the final hours before a vote appears to set up Republican leaders to keep their post-election promise to avert any major crisis in the lame duck session, setting a smooth transition to control of Capitol Hill in January.

And even the worst-case scenario is isn’t bad for either party: if the larger funding package falls apart, Boehner will put a three-month stop-gap spending bill on the floor to set up a fiscal fight next year when Republicans have control of both chambers.

It seems the White House is more or less lobbying for approval of the hashed together measure in order to “lock in” relatively generous appropriations levels, leaving DHS as the sole hostage of the confrontation between a completely Republican-controlled Congress and the administration over immigration policy scheduled for early next year. But Elizabeth Warren has raised the stakes by calling for a rejection of the bill as including a fatal step towards evisceration of an already weak Dodd-Frank law, and Nancy Pelosi seems to believe Republican leaders will back down on that one provision rather than let the “cromnibus” unravel.

We’ll see very soon.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.