Budget & appropriations activity on Capitol Hill
Congressional Expert David Hawkings and Niv Elis, reporter at The Hill, discuss how the next few weeks will play out, and how a bipartisan agreement will help avoid a government shutdown on October 1.
For several agencies, the future looks clear. Thanks to the minibus spending packages, huge parts of the government are funded for FY19. However, they’re not out of the woods yet. According to Niv Elis, Reporter at The Hill, there are still a few more agencies that need funding.
“Both chambers have found an agreement on Defense, Labor and HHS. Those two bills together make up 2/3rds of annual discretionary spending, so that’s a really big important deal.” said Elis. “Just as importantly, they decided to throw in a continuing resolution for everything else, so even if nothing else gets done before September 30, there is going to be certainty that there won’t be a shutdown.”
Congressional Expert David Hawkings says that with the current election tracking, the makeup of Congress could change how the CR process plays out.
“Many members of Congress refer to the period between the first Tuesday in November and the end of the year as the ‘golden moment’ in their careers… so they’re kind of happy-go-lucky in a sense,” said Hawkings. “We think there might be a large class of freshman coming in, which means there’s an equivalently large class of members leaving. The political chip is off their shoulder. You would think that they would vote their conscience, and whether that means that the president would get what he wants I think is an open question.”