With little progress being made on fiscal year 2022 appropriations, it’s increasingly likely that Congress will need to pass another stopgap continuing resolution to fund the government through Sept. 30.
In early December, Congress approved a short-term spending bill to keep federal agencies running through Feb. 18.
Congressional appropriators have been trying to reach consensus over the dozen annual bills that dictate federal spending but are nowhere near a deal. Recently, Democratic lawmakers signaled they could be open to a larger Defense budget than previously proposed and hope to jumpstart negotiations with their Republican counterparts.
“We have a job to do,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) just before the holidays. “The Republican leadership needs to step up and make a serious offer on a topline agreement – not one that panders to the extremes of their base.”
The ranking Republican on Senate Appropriations, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), told POLITICO this week that a full-year spending deal could happen if both parties can agree on the balance of defense and domestic spending and eliminate policy riders.
“We’re still talking, and we’re not there yet,” Shelby said. “We also are aware that we’ve got a Feb. 18 deadline. Could we meet it? Probably not, but I’d like to see us do it.”