"Most of the Democrats will vote for this and smile very big," Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told reporters Thursday. "It's a Democrat Labor-HHS' bill."
Precise details on funding and language remain under wraps until the final text is rolled out. But negotiators said that the final package would largely strip out partisan language favored by House Republicans.
That means lawmakers rejected attempts to defund Planned Parenthood or destabilize Obamacare, as well as a slew of other perennial conservative riders.
"Certainly, there's a lot of disappointments in the bill," said Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), who was one of the GOP negotiators on the package.
Lawmakers have planned for weeks to pair the broadly popular Defense bill with the typically contentious Labor-HHS-Education bill. That unprecedented combination allowed the package to soar through the Senate for the first time in 22 years, while kick-starting formal conference negotiations on both for the first time since 2007.
Senate Appropriations chief Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), one of those to originally pitch the strategy, called it the "linchpin" of Congress' spending bill successes so far this year.
"One, the top priority for Republicans; the other, the top priority for Democrats. Both important to all Americans," Shelby said."