Congress works to fund government as shutdown looms
Negotiations on money for the Pentagon and the rest of the federal government continue
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Congress must soon pass a measure to fund the government or risk a government shutdown.
Government funding will run out on December 17 without action from lawmakers.
“We have to get it done by the sixteenth,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) said. “If it’s not done by the sixteenth, we’ll have to do a short-term continuing resolution.”
That proposed short term resolution would last just one week. Spanberger said Congress owes it to federal workers to reach a full deal by December 23.
“To finally, outside of a continuing resolution, fund the government. It’s our responsibility as legislators and we have to get it done,” Spanberger said.
Democratic leadership has floated the option of passing a continuing resolution for the full 2023 fiscal year, which would essentially leave government at the same funding level.
Republicans such as Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) believe that type of funding creates challenges for the military and some federal agencies. Cornyn also said these difficult situations arrive because Congress has stopped passing individual appropriations bills, and often leaves funding up to a last-minute vote on a broad package.
“The question is, are we going to keep the lights on in Washington, or are they going to go off,” Cornyn said. “You have two choices. You have to vote yes or no, and obviously both choices are bad.”
Cornyn does not predict a shut down.
“They usually get what they want because everybody knows that the risk, or the consequences of a shutdown is something nobody wants.”
Complicating this year’s issue, Republicans will take control of the House January 3, limiting the power of current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass her priorities.
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