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A budget balanced (by unknowns)

Illustration of a pair of scissors cutting a one hundred dollar bill

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

There are still lots of unknowns about the budget deal with just 10 days to go before the first spending deadline.

Why it matters: Lawmakers still don't have allocations for individual spending bills. So we're likely to see intense negotiating over the next week on where the money goes and which riders make the cut.

What they're saying: "Until we have the top line broken down by subcommittee, it's very difficult. I'm really worried we have so little time," Senate Approps ranking member Susan Collins told reporters last night.

  • There's talk of yet another CR, but Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said Tuesday she believes Congress can finish the four bills that expire Jan. 19 (including energy and water).

What we're watching: Both Senate and House appropriators are proposing to boost overall Energy Department spending.

  • The disputes will come in the agency's non-defense budget, where House Republicans are proposing to sharply cut various renewable energy programs.
  • Don't expect many Republican policy riders blocking Biden administration rules to make it into any spending deal.
  • But we could see some policy changes, like the anti-gas stove ban provision that Joe Manchin got into the Financial Services spending bill.

And don't forget about the national security supplemental, which could carry nearly $3 billion in reprogrammed cash for domestic uranium production.

  • Border and foreign aid talks look a bit bleak right now, but that uranium money is a big deal for the nuclear industry.
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