President-elect Donald Trump preferred to wait until after inauguration to pass a long-term funding bill
House Republicans have chosen to go with a short-term spending bill to fund the government through March 31 instead of a full year bill:
Appropriations Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, said in a statement that his committee would immediately start working on “a Continuing Resolution (CR) at the current rate of funding to extend the operations of our government through March 31, 2017.”
While he said he’s “disappointed” that the current Congress won’t be able to complete “annual funding work this year,” he hopes the new Congress and Donald Trump’s administration will finish the bills.
The Hill reported that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) wanted the short-term spending bill because President-elect Donald Trump preferred that option. Congress needs to pass the bill by December 9.
The Appropriations Committee members are not the only ones who disapprove of a short-term bill:
A short-term spending bill would allow the Trump administration to take control over government spending within days of his inauguration, but Senate leaders worry that budget negotiations could get in the way of other pressing matters, such as confirming members of a Trump Cabinet and a nominee to the Supreme Court.
“I think to do anything in the Senate takes a long time,” said Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.). “It will be a very busy first six months, and if you have to stop and finish last year’s business in the middle of that, it’s challenging.”
Others in the House wanted a longer-term bill, too:
Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) and others said pushing this year’s appropriations process into next March will make it tougher to write next year’s spending bills.
It will shorten the timeline for the appropriations process, which makes it even tougher as GOP leaders pursue a complex budget tactic called reconciliation.
“It makes it a challenge, but we’re working with the incoming administration right now, and that seems to be the preference of folks, so that’s probably the wisest idea,” Price said.
Despite their grievances, the committee admit’s they would rather work with President Trump than President Barack Obama on the bill:
Many House Republicans on the Appropriations Committee balked at negotiating a bill of that length with President Obama and Senate Democrats.
“Would you rather negotiate with Harry Reid and Barack Obama or with Donald Trump?” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chairman of an Appropriations subcommittee. “It’s a pretty easy choice.”
Pence told lawmakers to be ready for busy months ahead as Congress is called to make good on Trump’s campaign promises.
“Buckle up,” Pence said, according to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.).
Congress did not pass a budget this year, meaning all “federal agencies have been running on stopgap funding that began Oct. 1.”DONATE
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