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Congress Continues to Wrangle Over the FY 12 Budget

The House and Senate appear to be distracted from finishing up the FY 12 Omnibus Appropriations measure because some of their colleagues have decided that the only way they will vote to extend the payroll tax cut is if the measure also includes fast-track language for the Keystone pipeline project and other environmental policy riders — while others are plotting how best to push back.  Meanwhile, the current continuing resolution (CR) expires next Friday, December 16th and nine of the 12 funding packages remain unaddressed.  Some speculation is already being circulated that, even if Congress finds a way to compromise on Omnibus provisions, the contentiousness of the environmental policy riders will drop funding for Interior/EPA out of the mix and set it up under yet another CR that simply extends current funding levels for the remainder of FY 12 (10 months).