Time Running Short for Tardy 2016 Spending Plan

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Although September is half over, there has been little evidence of progress on Capitol Hill towards even a short-term budget deal that would keep the government running after the next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Amid the usual procrastination, finger-pointing and apparent confusion over who might be or should be talking to whom behind the scenes, there are growing concerns about the possibility of another government shutdown.

Republican congressional leaders have downplayed that possibility but appear to be under heavy pressure from some GOP lawmakers who say they are intent on a showdown over Planned Parenthood funding.

Because Congress has failed to pass any of the 12 required appropriations bills for Fiscal 2016,  lawmakers are expected to approve a stop-gap “continuing resolution” that would give them more time to reach a budget agreement.

The problem, of course, is that they have already had the better part of a year to do that and have little to show for it.

A continuing resolution generally extends current spending levels for a certain period. While it is hardly an ideal way to govern, waiting until the last possible moment to approve such a measure will only make matters worse. It won’t do anything to ease public frustration with Washington, either.

External links:
What Is a Continuing Resolution? (Concord)
Wary of Shutdown, GOP Leaders Try to Refocus Abortion Debate (Washington Post)

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