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Ryan says wrap-up budget, tax talks slow

Ryan says wrap-up budget, tax talks slow
Posted at 9:18 AM, Dec 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-07 12:18:16-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday that Congress may miss its Friday deadline to wrap up a huge $1.1 trillion spending bill and an ambitious renewal of tax breaks for businesses and individuals.

The Wisconsin Republican told a radio station in his hometown of Janesville that "it might take us more than just this week to get these issues put together correctly."

Ryan's comments came after negotiations over the weekend failed to close out numerous unresolved items.

The spending bill would fill in hundreds of pages of line items to fill out the details of the October budget deal and fund the operating budgets of every Cabinet agency. The tax measure would renew dozens of tax breaks that typically are renewed only a year or two at a time. This year, both sides are working to make some of them permanent, which is proving tricky to do.

Most of the spending items in the so-called omnibus appropriations bills have been worked out, but numerous difficult policy provisions remain, including a GOP bid to block new emissions rules for power plants and an effort to restrict President Barack Obama's ability to declare national monuments in his final year in office.

A key complication involves a GOP plan to lift the ban on exporting U.S. oil overseas. Democrats have shown a willingness to go along but are seeking concessions in the form of tax breaks for renewable energy.

Lawmakers face a Dec. 11 deadline to avoid a government shutdown and it's looking increasingly obvious that a short-term funding bill will be needed.

On the tax side, the cost of the so-called "extenders" package has swelled as both sides press to make pet provisions permanent law, including a research and development tax credit favored by the high-tech industry.

The intersection of the tax and spending items is adding a degree of difficulty as the horse trading really involves both measures at the same time. Usually, they are addressed separately.

Ryan spoke to The Big AM 1380 in Janesville.