A Flurry of Negotiations May Push Congress to Stopgap Measure

Friday night is the deadline for a federal government shutdown, but the Senate may not be able to vote on the $1.3 trillion omnibus budget bill until Saturday.

Debates over immigration and health care may snowball into another federal government shutdown.

Disagreements in Congress over certain measures in a spending bill have delayed a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. This delay, combined with Senate procedural rules, could mean Congress misses its Friday deadline to avoid a shutdown.

As described by The Hill,

Lawmakers say that, while they hope to unveil an omnibus on Tuesday, they are still wrestling with a slate of controversial hurdles — including border funding and immigration enforcement measures, as well as key ObamaCare payments that are bogged down in an abortion fight.

The negotiations slog, according to members of leadership, could force Congress to pass a stopgap measure in order to give lawmakers time to finalize the bill and navigate around the Senate’s procedural hurdles.

For more information, see Lawmakers race to prevent shutdown amid last-minute snags from The Hill.

Vox explains the possibility of a short-term stopgap measure as one of the options for resolution this week:

If lawmakers can’t settle their differences on the omnibus by the end of this week, lawmakers also have the option to give themselves another extension on the government shutdown deadline. By passing a short-term bill — a continuing resolution — Congress would be keeping spending levels at the status quo.

Already, rumblings among congressional staffers hint that negotiations could come down to another CR (It’s not clear how long a stopgap funding bill that could be). It would be the sixth stopgap spending bill this fiscal year — a reality that’s increasingly frustrated lawmakers, especially those with defense interests who say the military cannot properly plan its resources on short-term spending bills.

For more, see Congress is coming down to the wire on keeping the government open from Vox.