© Greg Nash
The White House began taking steps Friday to prepare federal agencies for a possible government shutdown at the end of next week.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials were expected to hold a conference call with federal agencies Friday to ensure they are planning for a possible — though unlikely — halt in funding.
Republican and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill spent this week trading offers on a 10-week stopgap funding measure that will keep the government open past the election, but the two sides are now squabbling over whether aid for Flint, Mich., should be included in the bill.
Money for federal agencies runs out at the end of the fiscal year, on Oct. 1.
“[A]t this time, prudent management requires that the government plan for the possibility of a lapse and OMB is working with agencies to take appropriate action,” an official told The Hill on Friday.
“It is our hope that this work will ultimately be unnecessary and that there will be no lapse in appropriations.”
These types of OMB conference calls typically include principals and senior staff from each agency, including deputy administrators, chiefs of staff and top career officials.
During past calls warning of a shutdown, OMB officials have urged agencies to begin preparing notices to all employees, as well as a list of “essential” employees who would continue working in the event of a shutdown.
Few on Capitol Hill expect the government to halt operations just weeks before the critical presidential election. Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms To cut poverty and solve the labor shortage, enhance the Earned Income Tax Credit MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday said he anticipated the House vote on a funding bill to be “low drama.”
But Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda Justice Breyer issues warning on remaking Supreme Court: 'What goes around comes around' MORE (D-Nev.) warned this week that Republicans are “getting warmed up” for a shutdown, pointing to the 17-day GOP-led shutdown over ObamaCare in 2013.
The Obama administration “strongly believes” that a lapse in funding should not take place, the OMB official said.
“There is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations by passing a short-term continuing resolution that is free of ideological riders and allow more time to complete work on full-year appropriations in order to minimize the negative impacts of requiring Federal agencies to operate under stop-gap funding,” the official said.