Lawmakers continue to haggle over everything from immigration to a reauthorization of the terrorism risk insurance program as they approach a deadline this Thursday to approve long-overdue spending legislation for Fiscal 2015, which began Oct. 1.
For the last two months, Congress has relied on a “continuing resolution” to avoid a government shutdown. Such resolutions largely continue funding at the previous year’s levels even if needs and priorities have changed, and they make it difficult for federal agencies to plan effectively.
Although the continuing resolution expires on Thursday, lawmakers could approve an extension to give themselves more time to reach an agreement. But they’ve had plenty of time already; they should have made whatever compromises were necessary and approved the 12 regular spending bills for the current fiscal year months ago.
Republicans have been debating how best to register their disapproval of the President’s new immigration policies. But given how late they are running at this point, it would be best to deal with such concerns in talks over spending for the next fiscal year.
This week lawmakers should focus on finally getting their job done on this year’s spending plans. Further delays will further erode their public credibility, and could make next year’s work more difficult for the new Congress.
What Is a Continuing Resolution? (Concord Coalition)