After reaching a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to increase the budget caps under the Budget Control Act of 2011, Congress passed and the President signed a two year agreement that funds the government through mid-March to allow appropriators time to update their numbers and pass a full-year funding bill.
Congress is set to vote on a fifth temporary spending measure to keep the government running after midnight Thursday. House Republicans are working on a measure to extend government funding through Friday, March 23, although a final decision hasn’t been made. This time Senate Democrats aren’t threatening a government shutdown, saying they anticipate sufficient progress in bipartisan talks over a measure that would extend protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Lawmakers failed to negotiate an end to the government shutdown Sunday, January 21 despite a bipartisan effort to broker a deal, raising the political stakes as federal agencies begin closing at the start of their normal workweek.
Many more Americans will begin feeling the repercussions of a shutdown that officially began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday after most government offices had stopped work for the weekend. The widening disruption intensifies frantic efforts by Republicans and Democrats to blame one another for the deadlock and may harden the determination of lawmakers to gain leverage from the moment.
It’s deja vu all over again as Congress prepares to pass another stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and buy time to resolve partisan differences over defense and domestic funding priorities, the fate of young undocumented migrants, and border security. The current temporary spending law — the third for fiscal 2018 — runs through Friday, January 19.
The House returns from a two-week break on Monday with lawmakers facing an approaching deadline to fund the government past Friday, January, 19. At a White House meeting with GOP senators last week, Trump said lawmakers have “a good shot” at getting legislation to his desk that he’ll sign. Still, he continued to push for several ideas that face opposition from Democrats and some Republicans, including building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R- WI) dismissed speculation about his possible retirement and laid out an ambitious vision for what Republicans in Congress should accomplish next year to advance conservative goals once a massive package of tax cuts is put into law. Republicans will use their second year of controlling the House, Senate and White House to overhaul government social programs, criminal justice, technical education and health care, Ryan of Wisconsin said Thursday.
Congress passed a two-week extension of federal funding that averts a government shutdown this week but defers decisions on spending levels for defense and domestic programs.
Earlier this year, the Trump Administration moved to repel the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Now, the House and Senate Republicans have included language into their appropriation bills to limit the legal challenges to the Trump Administration’s ruling. Under WOTUS, created by the Obama Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have broad authorization to regulate streams, tributaries, and other navigable rivers and waterways that approximately cover 60 percent of the Unites States’ inland water.
President Trump joined the chorus of administration voices promising Monday, November 20 that a long-awaited infrastructure package would come “soon” after he signs a tax bill. “We’ll be submitting plans on health care, plans on infrastructure, and plans on welfare reform—which is desperately needed in our country—soon after taxes,” President Trump said during a press availability before a Cabinet meeting.
As tax legislation moves though the House and Senate, Senators continued their efforts to confirm and review leadership nominations last week. This included the confirmation of Brenda Burman to be Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation under the Department of Interior. A veteran of the Bureau having served as the Deputy Commissioner for External and Intergovernmental Affairs and the Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2006 to 2008, Burman will now lead the Bureau as the first women Commissioner.