from the hill

Shutdown Likely to be Averted – Until New December Deadline

Congress this year has been unable to fulfil its duty to budget and appropriate money to agencies, and the recent controversy over federal funding for women’s health organization Planned Parenthood has been driving the conversation towards a shutdown.

over the past month, federal agencies have been preparing for a potential lapse in appropriations, which would trigger a partial government shutdown.

Agencies dusted off and updated their 2013 shutdown plans and submitted them to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

The shocking announcement last Friday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) would resign his post and his seat in Congress at the end of October appears to have put off the likelihood of a shutdown – for the time being.

A failed 47-52 Senate vote last week proved that there was insufficient support in that chamber to pass a government spending bill that defunded Planned Parenthood. On Monday this week, the Senate voted 77-19 to advance a continuing resolution offered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that would fund agencies at 2015 levels until December 11. The Senate is expected to approve that measure today, and send it to the House for approval and then the President’s signature, thereby keeping the government open.

While Speaker Boehner’s resignation seems to have halted the current funding crisis with the passage of a continuing resolution (CR), agencies may well experience a shutdown at the expiration of the CR in December. Between now and that time, Congress will pursue investigations into Planned Parenthood through a new select committee that will be established, must pass major bills on highway funding, raising the debt ceiling, determine the fate of the Export-Import Bank, and whether to raise budget caps set by sequestration.

House Republicans are jockeying for new leadership roles that have been opened by Boehner’s departure, which, depending on who wins conference elections to the top posts, will dictate the approach to the serious legislative deadlines facing Congress.

Posted in From the Hill

Tags: Congress, Senate, legislation,

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