House leaders last Friday briefed their rank-and-file members on the likelihood that Congress will need to pass another short-term spending patch to keep the government running until late November or early December.
In a call with House Democrats last week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) pointed out that the summer recess does not end until Sept. 9, leaving Congress with just 13 working days before federal funding runs out on Sept. 30. The Senate has yet to introduce even one of their 12 appropriations bills.
“The Senate is so far behind, we may actually need a short-term CR, which is very unfortunate,” House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) told POLITICO. “I can’t make a judgment now because they haven’t made much progress. They have to get moving.”
Just before the August recess, Congress approved a two-year budget deal, lifting the debt ceiling for two years and reducing the risk of another government shutdown. The budget deal sets overall spending levels that should make it easier for Congress to negotiate those individual appropriations bills, but House leaders say they have no idea how far apart they will be with their Senate counterparts.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said his committee will start marking up various appropriations measures on Sept. 12.