WASHINGTON — In an unusually ambitious swoop, Congress is poised this week to approve a mammoth legislative package that jams a year's worth of work into one deal.
The compromise is headed for votes today and Friday.
The core of the package is the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill to keep the government funded through fiscal 2016, reversing some of the steep cuts to defense and domestic accounts both parties wanted to undo.
On top of that, lawmakers are also passing a $650 billion tax package that deficit hawks lambasted as fiscally irresponsible, even though the breaks are routinely renewed for both business and ordinary Americans. Included are looser rules for using college savings plans and a permanent extension of the earned income tax credit for low-wage workers. Business would benefit from a faster depreciation credit.
What the new deal would do:
• Repeal a decades-old ban on exporting crude oil
• Make permanent $650 billion in tax breaks
• Adopt new cybersecurity rules
• Tighten visa requirements for some foreign visitors
• Expand the federal deficit by tens of billions of dollars a year
• Make permanent the child tax credit, one of the most significant anti-poverty tools
What the deal would block:
• An attempt to defund Planned Parenthood
• A plan to roll back Obamacare
• An attempt to prevent Syrian refugees from entering the country.
What the deal would postpone:
• Two Obamacare taxes, including one on high-priced heath care plans