It has been nearly a year since the federal government’s partial shutdown from October 1 through October 16, 2013 and Congress is due for yet another spending bill deadline on September 30 2014: proof positive that time flies whether or not you’re having fun.
After a 5-week semi-well-deserved break, Congress returns on September 8, 2014 to work for approximately 10 whole days before they adjourn until after the November 4th midterm elections. (What a great job, huh? No wonder they fight like wild dingoes to get reelected.) A top priority during that work period will be passage of short-term funding before the September 30th deadline and acceptable to a sufficient number of Congressmen.
The combination of a short work period plus upcoming elections has made at least some Congressmen more pliable about handling the spending bill deadline. House Speaker John Boehner says he anticipates passage of a short-term funding measure (called a “continuing resolution”) that will extend to December. Some other Republicans want the anticipated measure to last into the first part of 2015; in that way, if Republicans control both Houses commencing in late January, they will be able exert more control over spending when the next deadline looms. Still other Republicans are unmoved and stand by “hammering out” the short-term funding in a process very similar to that of 2013, which could lead to another political stalemate and a 2014 government partial shutdown.
Meanwhile, some Democratic Congressmen are laughing up their sleeves, believing that the Republicans cannot maintain their tenuous solidarity long enough to pass the funding measure and that Congressmen are in for another dog fight regarding short-term funding.in 2014. According to these doubters, Republican Congressmen claimed to be pliable about short-term funding in 2013 until they fused government funding to Obamacare’s defunding, resulting in the last stalemate and partial shutdown.
The 10-day work span should make interesting viewing as political forces bargain, parry, lunge and riposte while the clock ticks toward the 2014 spending bill deadline.
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