Congress Moves to Avoid Shutdown as Fiscal 2016 Nears

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With the next fiscal year starting Thursday, the Senate on Monday cleared the way for quick passage of a stop-gap funding measure to keep the government open through Dec. 11.

The Senate and then the House are expected to vote by Wednesday night on the measure, known as a “continuing resolution.” Such resolutions generally extend current spending levels for a certain period, although this one also includes some “emergency” funding.

While some Republicans believe the threat of a government shutdown can be used as effective leverage against the Democrats, House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that the House this week would pass a clean resolution, meaning one without extraneous measures.

Because of the opposition to this among several dozen House Republicans, Boehner — who last week announced he would leave the House late next month — is counting on some Democratic votes.

Lawmakers turned to a continuing resolution again this year because, unfortunately, Congress has failed to pass any of the 12 required appropriations bills for Fiscal 2016. Even with the resolution’s passage, lawmakers will still need to work out a funding plan for the rest of the fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the continuing resolution fails to take account of many new circumstances and priorities. The funding uncertainty also makes it difficult for federal agencies to plan effectively and avoid unnecessary spending.

External links:
What Is a Continuing Resolution? (Concord Coalition)

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