Negotiations to prevent a partial government shutdown continued this week after Congress returned to the Capitol. Although confidence remains high that an agreement will be made before the Friday night deadline, there are sticking points that need to be cleared before a vote can be scheduled. For one, leaders in Congress are struggling to find consensus over just how long the stop-gap funding measure should last. Democrats want a funding extension going into January, while Republicans favor a bill that goes further into the year. Additionally, some members of Congress may plan on stonewalling any efforts to pass a budget bill as a way to mount opposition against the President’s current mask mandate.
If lawmakers manage to secure funding by midnight this Friday, they will still need to pass legislation to address the debt ceiling. In a letter sent to Congress on November 16, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that after December 15, “there are scenarios in which Treasury would be left with insufficient remaining resources to continue to finance the operations of the U.S. government.” On top of the fiscal policy issues that require congressional action, Democrat leaders in the Senate have set Christmas as a deadline for passage of the President’s domestic spending bill which successfully cleared the House on November 19.
GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center will continue to monitor congressional activity.