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Congress Has Its Work Cut Out To Avoid Another Government Shutdown

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More than a month after Congress agreed on the parameters of the fiscal 2020 federal budget, lawmakers will return this week facing a tight deadline if they want to approve the budget on time.

The federal fiscal year begins Oct. 1. If lawmakers cannot agree on a budget, they would need to pass a continuing resolution to authorize government operations for a few weeks while budget discussions continue. Without that, the government could shut down.

Odds of an agreement for an on-time budget appear remote, with only 16 congressional working days on the calendar before Oct. 1 and with the two houses moving in different directions, The Hill reported.

House Democrats are looking at a budget scenario in which the entire budget goes into a continuing resolution, even if there are agreements in some areas. Last year, Congress left some parts of the budget hanging after passing others, leading to some parts of the government shutting down when an impasse was reached on the remaining budget areas.

Senate Republicans plan to pass legislation aimed at getting the budget done on time.

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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland blamed the Senate for the continuing resolution vote, which is scheduled for next week, according to CBS News.

“While the House did its work and sent ten appropriations bills to the Senate, covering 96 percent of government funding, I am disappointed that the Senate failed to introduce a single appropriations bill for the first time in more than three decades,” Hoyer wrote in a letter to House Democrats.

“As we wait for them to complete their work so that we can begin conference negotiations, a continuing resolution will be necessary to prevent another government shutdown like the one we experienced earlier this year, which harmed thousands of American families,” he said.

The federal government was shut down for 35 days earlier in the year due to differences in spending that centered around the construction of a border wall.

Do you want Congress to avoid another shutdown?

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama said Friday that four of the 12 bills necessary will be voted on this Thursday.

“We’ve got to get the appropriations bills passed to prevent a government shutdown, which I think represents the ultimate failure to govern,” Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said, according to The Hill.

In August, Congress passed top-line spending levels for the budget and suspended the debt limit through 2021, Roll Call reported.

The agreement increases the spending levels by $324 billion over the next two fiscal years.

President Donald Trump supported the agreement, which would provide $738 billion for the military in fiscal 2020.

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Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia said the military spending is essential.

“Two-thirds of our F/A-18 … fighter jets couldn’t fly” when Trump began his term, Perdue said, according to Roll Call.

“Three of our Army brigades could go to war that night. I saw that. I’m on the Armed Services Committee, and you can see that when you travel the world how absolutely gutted our military had been. So for the last two years we’ve been rebuilding that,” he said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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