WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Congress plans to vote Tuesday on a plan to avoid another federal shutdown. The government runs out of money on Thursday night.
Lawmakers agreed on the overall spending levels in the summer, but they still can’t figure out how to split up the money.
“We have such a laundry list of things we need to do in Congress.”
The clock is ticking for Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham and his colleagues to pass a slew of bills before the year’s end. But the most pressing item on this week’s agenda…
“We haven’t done a budget.”
Tennessee Congressman Phil Roe lays out the two options; agree on a new budget, which likely won’t happen by then, or pass a temporary continuing resolution, which no one likes.
“CRs are terrible ways to run the government,” said Roe.
South Carolina Congressman Ralph Norman agrees.
“It’s bad for every agency that needs funding.”
The proposed continuing resolution will push the deadline on a budget agreement to December 20, which may or may not give Congress enough time to solve the issue at the heart of this impasse; the money to pay for President Trump’s border wall.
The Trump administration has said it intends to avoid another government shutdown. Tennessee Congressman Chuck Fleischmann wants that, too.
“Keep the government open. I think we’ll be able to do that,” said Fleischmann.
But his colleagues are skeptical of any permanent budget deal passing before 2020. Republican Scott DesJarlais blames Democrats.
“They would rather see the country fail than Trump succeed.”
And Democrat Peter Welch blames Republicans.
“It goes to the Senate controlled by Sen. McConnell, and he’s got a ‘just say no’ approach to things.”
Regardless of who’s to blame, the federal government runs out of money this Thursday night.
One of the only supporters of a continuing resolution has been White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney because he likes that it blocks increases in spending.