Congress has just weeks to pass a short-term funding patch to keep government agencies open past Sept. 30, when current funding expires.
Democratic and Republican leaders are downplaying the possibility of a government shutdown, but a bipartisan bill could be problematic if it includes certain energy permitting provisions tied to the $740 billion health care, climate and tax package that Democrats passed without Republican support last month. The energy permitting provisions are part of a promise Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made to secure Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) support for the big reconciliation package. Manchin and other centrist Democrats are concerned about new climate and infrastructure projects getting held up by red tape.
Republicans may seek a stopgap government funding bill that would put Congress back at the negotiating table after the midterm elections this fall, which could put Republicans back in control of the House.
A continuing resolution of some length is undoubtedly the path to keeping the government funded past Sept. 30 because bipartisan negotiations on fiscal 2023 spending bills haven’t even begun. Top Senate negotiators have been deadlocked on top spending levels for defense and domestic spending bills for months.