House to vote on stopgap spending measure to prevent shutdown

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The House is slated to vote on a short-term measure to fund the government and prevent a shutdown in mid-September, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Thursday.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter, Hoyer said that he expects the House to take up a “clean” stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), during the week of Sept. 16.

{mosads}Hoyer also outlined votes on bills in the coming weeks to block oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico, as well as legislation to authorize research on domestic terrorism.

In response to mass shootings last month in Texas and Ohio, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to advance bills next week when the chamber returns from recess to ban high-capacity magazines and prevent people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes or considered high-risk from having guns. Hoyer said that those bills “could” be considered in the upcoming work period.
House Democrats passed 10 of 12 annual appropriations bills over the summer for the next fiscal year, but the Senate has yet to even approve any of its versions out of committee.

Senate Republicans opted to hold off on beginning their appropriations process amid negotiations between the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for a two-year budget deal, which President Trump signed into law last month.

While the budget deal establishes spending levels and suspends the debt limit into 2021, government funding runs out on Sept. 30.

Given the limited timeframe, Hoyer acknowledged that a stopgap will be necessary to buy time for the House and Senate to reconcile their appropriations bills.

“While the House did its work and sent ten appropriations bills to the Senate, covering 96% of government funding, I am disappointed that the Senate failed to introduce a single appropriations bill for the first time in more than three decades. As we wait for them to complete their work so that we can begin conference negotiations, a continuing resolution will be necessary to prevent another government shutdown like the one we experienced earlier this year, which harmed thousands of American families,” Hoyer wrote.

Hoyer did not say how long the stopgap measure would last. Congressional leaders in both parties have yet to agree on an end date.

Hoyer suggested an end date of Nov. 22 for a CR during a caucus-wide conference call with House Democrats last month. Democratic aides have said in recent weeks that the CR may run through mid-November or potentially Dec. 6.

The House is scheduled to depart for the year on Dec. 12.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to hold its first committee markups on Sept. 12 after it returns from the summer recess on Monday.

Hoyer also announced that the House is expected to consider legislation to address other programs that expire with the end of the fiscal year, including the Export-Import Bank and National Flood Insurance Program.

He also noted that the House is likely to vote to go to conference with the Senate on the annual defense policy bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act. Both chambers have passed their own versions, but have to reconcile differences like barring the use of Pentagon funds for a border wall and reversing the Trump administration’s transgender military ban.

Hoyer further said the House may consider “additional” legislation to address the flow of migrants at the southern border and election security, without specifying which bills.

The House had been slated to take up a bill from Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) before the August break to overhaul migrant detention policies, but it still needed input from the whole caucus. The House did pass a bill in late July from Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) to establish standards of care for migrants in Customs and Border Protection Custody.

Al Weaver contributed.

Tags Appropriations Budget Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Raul Ruiz Shutdown Steny Hoyer Veronica Escobar

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