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)*
Written by Countable