Boehner: Short-term bill likely to avoid shutdown

Francis Rivera

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that Congress will likely have to take up a stopgap funding bill in September to avoid a government shutdown.

Lawmakers are expected to leave Washington next week for the month-long August recess and won’t return until the Tuesday after Labor Day. That leaves a limited number of days for Congress to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1. 

“It’s pretty clear, given the number of days we’re going to be here in September, that we’re going to have to do a [continuing resolution] of some sort. But no decision has been made about that. We’ll deal with it in September when we get back,” Boehner said at his weekly press briefing in the Capitol.

{mosads}Senate Democrats have been filibustering all fiscal 2016 spending bills due to objections to budget caps known as sequestration, holding firm to a veto threat from President Obama.

In the House, lawmakers have passed six out of 12 annual individual spending measures. But the House’s process for considering the remaining bills is currently stalled due to controversy over the display of the Confederate flag.

A stopgap funding bill, potentially through the end of the year, would be used to buy lawmakers time to negotiate a longer-term spending measure to keep the federal government funded through September 2016.

Boehner wouldn’t commit to defunding Planned Parenthood through the appropriations process in the aftermath of two controversial videos that attempt to portray the organization as illegally profiting from fetal tissue donations.

Two House committees, Judiciary as well as Energy and Commerce, are conducting investigations into the videos.

“I expect that we will have hearings. And the more we learn, the more it will educate our decisions in the future,” Boehner said.

September is shaping up to be an intense month for Congress when lawmakers return from their summer break. Along with avoiding a government shutdown, lawmakers are expected to vote on the nuclear deal with Iran in mid-September. 

And in the midst of both debates, Pope Francis will address Congress on Sept. 24. 

Tags Boehner John Boehner

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