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Another Government Shutdown?!

by Countable | 3.21.18

The likelihood of a third partial government shutdown in as many months this year is increasing, as Congress has limited time to finalize and pass a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill before midnight Friday.

  • The final version of the bill is expected to be released today in advance of a House vote Thursday to send it to the Senate. Unless the Senate unanimously agrees to bypass procedural hurdles, a passage vote on the bill may not happen until Saturday morning — meaning that funding would lapse prompting another government shutdown.

  • Funding levels aside, some of the same issues which led to the last two shutdowns remain a thorn in the side of negotiators. Those include addressing the status of DACA recipients, providing additional border security funding, and whether to include a bill to improve reporting of criminal records to the NICS background check system.

  • Congress’s dysfunctional funding of the government is nothing new and lawmakers know that something needs to change. They’ve introduced bills to switch Congress from annual budgeting to a two-year budget cycle, and to withhold members of Congress’s pay if they fail to pass a budget or if the government shuts down.

  • January’s 69-hour shutdown came about when Senate Democrats blocked a short-term funding bill over the lack of an immigration reform deal addressing the status of DACA recipients and an agreement on long-term spending caps. February’s shutdown lasted through the early morning hours of February 9th after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delayed the bill procedurally because of his concerns about the impact of raising spending caps on the deficit.

What do you think Congress needs to do to avoid a government shutdown — not only this week but in the future? Hit Take Action to send your suggestions to your reps and share your thoughts in the comments below!

— Eric Revell

*(Photo Credit: *uschools* / iStock)*

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