The top four appropriators on Capitol Hill met Thursday for the first time since November, restarting talks about spending levels for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) told CQ that her focus is to pass an omnibus spending package in the next five weeks.

“It was a good meeting, and we’re going to continue to work,” she said. “I’m just going to continue to move forward, continue the conversations.”

Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called the meeting “worthwhile,” and his Republican counterpart, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), said it was “constructive.”

The current stopgap spending bill expires Feb. 18. If lawmakers follow that with a long-term continuing resolution that extends current spending through September, it could have negative impacts on DOD readiness and military family quality of life, as On Base reported.

CQ Roll Call photo by Bill Clark