The government is open for business this week after a continuing resolution passed Congress in time to avoid the midnight Friday deadline for appropriations to lapse. Congress gets back to work this week with almost as much to resolve as last week.
David Hawkings, Editor-in-Chief of The Fulcrum, told “Government Matters” there probably won’t be much new that happens by the end of the week unless there is an “unexpected burst of bipartisan agreement.”
“As we’re talking right now, it looks like this coming Friday, same as last Friday, there is no grand deal on an omnibus to take spending all the way through next September,” Hawkings said. He predicts Congress may pass another CR to get them through the weekend or end of the year, but he does not see a big omnibus spending bill happening this week.
He also does not think there will be any kind of grand deal on another COVID relief package. He said the “Gang of 908,” lawmakers who support a $908 billion package, are trying to come up with a compromise, but it is likely nothing will end up getting done.
Although this group does not want to tag a COVID relief package onto an omnibus spending bill, according to Hawkings, “if there is a deal for an omnibus or even a continuing resolution into next year that would not be weighted down by a COVID response package of some size, then they would agree that it could catch a ride.”
Overall, there has been a “stunning dropoff in productivity” for Congress, Hawkings said. They have enacted only 28 public laws so far this year.