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Congress Must Pass Spending Bill By Friday to Avoid Shutdown

Congress Must Pass Spending Bill By Friday to Avoid Shutdown

The continuing resolution will keep the government going until the December deadline.

It’s that time of year when Congress will fight over a short-term funding bill to avoid a government shutdown. We all know what will happen. They’ll talk tough and then pass something at the last minute and go their merry ways.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has faced criticism from Democrats and members of his own party for the Senate’s version of the bill. Some of his fellow GOP members believe the version “doesn’t include conservative policy proposals.” House conservatives want to do what they can to extend this stopgap bill into January so Congress isn’t rushed to pass a full spending bill before Christmas.

The Daily Signal reports:

A temporary fix, the Senate measure extends federal funding at the current $1.07 trillion level until Dec. 9. That timetable sets up another fight over spending during the lame-duck session after the election.

The Senate’s legislation also includes relief funds for victims of the flooding that battered Louisiana in August and money to combat the Zika virus that has spread in the South all summer.

It does not contain a provision that would keep money meant to fight the Zika virus from flowing to the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Democrats torpedoed three earlier Zika bills that contained the prohibition.

Senate Democrats aren’t happy because the bill does not include funding for Flint, MI, to help with water contamination issues. President Barack Obama drank a glass of water in public to show that the water was safe for drinking. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has asked her colleagues to vote against the bill since it does not include a Flint provision:

“We Democrats cannot vote … for that substitute and urge others to vote against it,” she said on the floor shortly before McConnell released the proposal publicly.

“We believe that the people of Flint, Mich. … who have been waiting for more than one year, should be included in this continuing resolution.”

Republicans have also lashed out because the legislation “doesn’t contain any language barring the White House from relinquishing U.S. control of ICANN, the nonprofit that functions as the directory of the internet by curating website domain names.” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has tried to stop the executive branch from passing “ICANN to an international body for more than a month.”

The House of Representatives has its own dramatic problems. The Freedom Caucus wants to introduce an amendment to the spending bill “that would automatically extend the stop-gap spending bill to Jan. 18 if an agreement is not reached by the December deadline.” The Washington Post reported:

“I think you have to be cautious about doing major things in a lame-duck session where members are no longer accountable,” [Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim] Jordan said on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.” “Bad things happen on spending right before the holidays. We’ve had five years of experience with that.”

Conservatives hope that their amendment will remove any chance that Republican and Democratic leaders can use the threat of a shutdown to force a last-minute deal in December when lawmakers are typically in a rush to avoid a holiday season shutdown. Conservatives worry that leaders are more likely to accept a massive year-end spending bill that is loaded with goodies for special interests if they worry a shutdown is imminent, aides said.

Will Republicans cave? Unfortunately, they typically receive the blame for government shutdowns, but this year presents a special case due to the awful election and the possibility of losing the Senate majority:

“If the shutdown is a few days, it will be forgotten by November,” said Larry J. Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist. “But if this turns into a real stalemate, it would almost certainly hurt Republicans since they are in the majority in both houses.”

Yet at the same time, could a government shutdown help GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump?

Republicans have struggled at times to make the case that they are effective stewards of the Congress and the White House. They face a difficult challenge especially amid a raucous campaign in which Trump repeatedly denounced the GOP controlled Congress, the Republican political establishment and even the past Republican administration of George W. Bush for incompetence.

“Trump could use a government shutdown as another reason to advocate for change and why Washington doesn’t work,” said Ron Bonjean, a Washington policy adviser and former Republican congressional aide. “Senate Democrats could also use it against the Republican majority to make their case about why they should be in charge.”

How about we do this?

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Comments

Why the hell NOT extend this mess until after the Holidays?

Take all the emotional crap out of ANY legislation you can, be certainly spending bills.

Subotai Bahadur | September 26, 2016 at 2:27 pm

The goal of the GOPe in this is to have a chance to prevent a President Trump from doing anything against the Left if he is elected. They figure if they do it during the lame duck session, that the peasants cannot vote against them for collaborating again with the Democrats. And if it is President Hillary, they can grovel, scrape, and curry favor by funding anything and everything she asks for. Which will also be after the election so that they think they are safe from retaliation by the voters.

The GOPe’s gotta GOPe. Their assumptions of non-retaliation by either a President Trump or the American people are probably mistaken. As are their assumptions that Hillary will allow them to suck up to her. Just a bunch of Mensheviki on the way to 2 Dzerzhinski Square.

buckeyeminuteman | September 26, 2016 at 3:18 pm

We all know the routine. Obama says, “Jump!”. McConnell asks, “How high?” Spending goes up and the debt goes up. Business as usual as both parties are literally indistinguishable anymore. This annual charade is absolutely disgusting. I say shut it all down!

I wonder if Rick Santelli has given any consideration to the notion of the government to stop spending?! Seriously, I’ll echo the frustration I hear in his voice at the ineptitude of the federal government in general and Congress specifically.

Where’s the budget??? Why all this circus and then nothing gets done except another CR? Why haven’t the respective states recalled their reps? These clowns get elected, put on a good show and then do whatever they want to stay in power.

    Milhouse in reply to showtime8. | September 26, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    There’s no budget because the Dems won’t allow one through the senate. What on earth do you mean by the states recalling their reps? Reps are elected by their districts every two years, and that’s it. There’s no such thing as recalling them.

    no provisions to recall them.
    and since 17th passed no provision for states to recall senators either.
    nice huh ??

      Milhouse in reply to dmacleo. | September 26, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      What do you mean, since the 17th passed? On which planet could states ever recall senators?

        jesus you are an irritating wart. do you wake up each day wondering how you can prove what a boil on the ass of society you are?
        prior to the 17 the state constitutions in many states had provisions for recall of senators since the state legislatures appointed them. an appointment could always be reversed by the state legislatures
        the popular vote provisions of the 17th nullified the power the states had under the 10th.
        get a clue and until you do stfu.

          Milhouse in reply to dmacleo. | September 29, 2016 at 8:36 pm

          Bullshit. You are an ignorant ass, and have a chutzpah calling me names. You should hide your face in shame at your sheer ignorance.

          The US constitution has never had a provision for recalling senators. State legislatures did not “appoint” senators, they elected them, just as the people do now, and had no more authority to recall them than the people do now.

          Your claim that state constitutions had such provisions is even more stupid than your original claim. The election of senators is a federal matter, and subject only to the federal constitution and federal laws. No state constitution ever had such a provision, but if one had it would have been automatically void.

          Now kindly go and educate yourself and stop making pronouncements on a subject you clearly known nothing at all about.

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