Shelby expects another funding stopgap, potentially through March

Shelby expects another funding stopgap, potentially through March
© Greg Nash

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyAppropriators fume over reports of Trump plan to reprogram .2 billion for wall The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment tug-of-war expected to end soon McConnell tells GOP senators to expect impeachment trial next week MORE (R-Ala.) on Wednesday said deadlock over spending negotiations would likely require Congress to pass a new funding stopgap measure, called a continuing resolution (CR), to prevent a shutdown after Nov. 21.

“Unless a miracle happens around here with the House and Senate, we will have to put forth another CR,” Shelby said.  

While the eight-week stopgap extended funding past the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, Shelby said rumors of a longer CR into February or March were “probably in the ballpark.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The prospect that the House would impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE and the Senate would have to take up a trial, he said, added to the need for a longer stopgap.

While the House has passed 10 of its 12 annual spending bills, the Senate has not yet succeeded in passing a single funding bill, largely due to disagreements over Trump’s proposed border wall.

On Tuesday, the Senate introduced a package of four smaller, noncontroversial spending bills and is expected to begin the process of voting on amendments next week.

But the chances of getting any spending bills signed into law in the near future remain slim. Shelby and his House counterpart, Rep. Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Senate approves Trump trade deal with Canada, Mexico | Senate Dems launch probe into Trump tax law regulations | Trump announces Fed nominees House Democrats unveil .35B Puerto Rico aid bill Appropriators fume over reports of Trump plan to reprogram .2 billion for wall MORE (D-N.Y.), have been negotiating how to divvy up spending between the 12 appropriations bills, with particular controversy arising over wall-related allocations that Democrats say pull funding from other priorities.

On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate House to vote on Iran war powers bills sought by progressives Khanna: Timing of Iran bill being weighed against getting bigger majority MORE (D-Md.) emphasized the need to reach agreement on the allocations before putting any agreed-upon spending bills to a vote, a condition that dampens the chances of near-term progress on even noncontroversial bills.

A return to regular order for even a few bills, Shelby said, would require a “very, very optimistic” outlook.

In the meantime, the Senate Appropriations Committee has yet to release the spending bill dealing with military construction and veterans affairs, which is stuck over Democratic insistence against backfilling project funds that Trump redirected toward building the wall under emergency powers. 

The committee has also not yet marked up a bill covering the department of Labor and Health and Human Services, which is second in size only to defense, over abortion-related issues. Democrats have objections to cuts they say were made to accommodate new wall funding.