As Budget Deadline Nears, Government Shutdown Looms

Date: September 08, 2016

Senate Majority Leader Says Legislators May Pass Continuing Resolution To Fund Government Through December

September 30 marks another deadline for the Federal government to come up with a fiscal year budget, or face a shutdown. With the deadline looming and no budget deal in sight, the Washington Post reports that Senate Majority Leader McConnell said he is talking with the White House and Senate Democrats on funding the government past the September 30 shutdown deadline and is “hopeful and optimistic.” McConnell said he is prepared to, as early as next week, move a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through early December, a date both Democrats and GOP appropriators favor, “hoping to pass the annual spending bills before a new Congress arrives next year.” However, conservative Republicans want those bills to be taken care of by the next Congress. Some conservatives suggest they may support a short-term continuing resolution “in exchange for policy concessions.” Politico reports McConnell’s statement puts “pressure on a divided House Republican conference.” McConnell said that part of the talks with Democrats is on “how to work out some of the differences we have that led to the Democrats filibustering Zika funding.” Meanwhile, earlier this week House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) indicated “that he would also support a CR into December.”

What Happens Next

A potential continuing resolution would fund the government through December 9. However, it remains unclear whether Congress can agree to pass such a resolution before the September 30 deadline.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Small business owners are struggling with regulatory and political uncertainty in this election year. It remains to be seen whether Congress has the political will to address budgetary issues and alleviate some of this uncertainty, rather than simply kicking the can forward.

Additional Reading

Dana Milbank, in his Washington Post column, criticized Congress for its budgetary inaction.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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