House takes up spending bills this week on Capitol Hill

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Sarah Ferris, Budget and Appropriations Reporter at Politico and Congressional Expert David Hawkings discuss the efforts to get a budget passed in the last week of the fiscal year, and the odds of a shutdown on October 1.


The end of the fiscal year is on September 30. That gives Congress just under a week to avoid a government shutdown, and possibly fully fund some agencies for FY19. Sarah Ferris, Budget and Appropriations Reporter at Politico, says that there’s a very good chance that everything will be funded by the end of the month.

 

“In a surprising twist, there are actually five bills on their way to getting passed on time. Three of those have already been signed into law, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as legislative operations and Energy/Water programs,” said Ferris. “[The president] signed them with about seven days left before the shutdown, and now we have the remaining package which has the Labor-Education-HHS funding, and the Defense funding. The House is planning to pass that this week, along with the continuing resolution.”

 

Congressional Expert David Hawkings says that the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shouldn’t boil over into this week’s budget process.

 

“That’s all happening on the Senate side of the Capitol, what we’re talking about is all on the House side. They can be remarkably different, you can pass through that rotunda between the two sides and it’s like two different cultures,” Hawkings said. “I was wondering whether there are some senators who are both on the Judiciary Committee and the Appropriations Committee. There are a few, but their heads should not be torn in more than one direction, because they’ve done their work before the end of next week.”