Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Congress Set to Return for Tight Budget Deadline


 Drew Thies

Members of Congress returning to Capitol Hill next week will face a tight budget deadline to come up with a solution for funding the government. The current budget resolution is set to expire April 28th, giving lawmakers only a few days to avert a government shutdown.


Both chambers of Congress are currently out of town for the Easter recess and are scheduled to return April 24th for the Senate, April 25th for the House, just days before the funding deadline. That leaves little time for partisan fighting and deal-making for a budget that will need Democratic support to pass through regular legislative order.

Republicans will need to win over at least 8 Democrats in the Senate to get the 60-vote majority necessary to override a filibuster. A continuation of current spending levels, or continuing resolution, without other policy riders may achieve this goal, but other priorities may come into play.


The Trump administration has indicated that it would like funds to pay for a border wall—a central promise of the Trump campaign. Additionally, some conservative Republicans suggested provisions to limit funding for Planned Parenthood or sanctuary cities. Both these are poison pills for Democrats.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) noted on April 7th that spending bills, “cannot be done by one party alone,” perhaps indicating that the solution will be bipartisan. If the two parties cannot come to a conclusion, Congress will have to address a government shutdown before proceeding on an already crowded list of priorities that includes tax and health care reform.

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