Action on a continuing resolution (CR) needed to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1 likely will begin in the Senate this week, according to congressional aides.
With time quickly running out before the start of fiscal 2016, letting the Senate take the lead should ensure procedural delays don’t stop a CR from advancing, reports CQ. House leaders last week adopted rules allowing that chamber to move more quickly on a stopgap measure.
The CR introduced in the Senate could include language to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood and, if so, it almost certainly would be blocked from going to the floor. The chamber then could take up a stopgap without the defunding language, with approval possibly coming over the weekend. The House then could approve the measure next week. The sequence of events could change at any point, however, CQ noted.
The CR could extend funding at FY 2015 levels through mid-December, although some lawmakers prefer it to expire in November to increase the urgency for Congress to complete work on a full-year omnibus.
It’s still not clear how House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) plans to respond to conservatives’ insistence on defunding Planned Parenthood in any spending bill. The quickest way to sidestep a shutdown crisis would be for the House to vote on a clean CR, assuming Democrats are willing to provide enough votes to pass the measure.
One approach House leaders are pursuing to placate conservatives’ demand to deprive the reproductive health care provider of funds is to shift the focus from the annual appropriations process and, instead, take advantage of budget reconciliation, a tool to bring spending into alignment with the annual budget resolution. The benefit for conservatives is that a reconciliation bill cannot be filibustered in the Senate, allowing it to get past that chamber. Of course, President Obama still would veto any legislation denying funding to Planned Parenthood, leaving the effort unsuccessful, according to the story.
Shared from the Association of Defense Communities.