Democrats are trying to block their strategy for a looming shutdown fight as they debate how to get there in early 2022 or set another deadline closer to Christmas.
Congress has until the end of December 3 to pass another government funding bill after using a short-term patch, known as a rolling resolution (CR), to get past the beginning of October 1 of fiscal year 2022.
No decisions have been made on how long to extend government funding past the early December deadline, and there are competing schools of thought within House and Senate Democrats on what their next step should be.
One option under discussion is to approve a two-week CR, which would expand current spending levels, to fund the government until approximately December 17. But a source told The Hill that top Democrats are backing a funding bill that would last until February or March.
Its. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van Hollen Overnight National Security & Defense – Presented by Boeing – Senators to Accept Defense Bill Wednesday Democrats Reflect on Thanksgiving Break Amid Hillicon Valley Buildup – Immigrants in Programs surveillance MORE (D-Md.) He acknowledged that Democrats were debating passing an interim bill that would last until mid-December or be “longer.”
“I would like to keep up the pressure. On the other hand, a lot is happening, ”said Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Democrats who favor a shorter interim solution that would create another funding cliff closer to Christmas say they want to keep the pressure on Republicans to reach a 2022 tax funding deal.
“I think we would be much better off doing short-term CR. We need to keep the pressure on Republicans to do their job, ”the Senator said. Chris murphyChristopher (Chris) Scott Murphy Infrastructure bill could disrupt debt cap timeline Biden triggers high-risk fight over spending framework Progressives scramble to salvage top priorities from dive bloc MORE (D-Conn.), Another member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Although top members of the Senate and House appropriations committees met earlier this month to discuss government funding, they have made little progress toward the kind of comprehensive deal that would set top-line numbers and allow them to pass. the 12 financing bills of fiscal year 2022..
Chairperson of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa DeLauroRosa DeLauro Democrats take on Manchin, make a new push for family leave House Democrats re-included paid family leave in the bill The World of Lobbying MORE (D-Conn.), In a letter to House Democrats, he said he wants a year-end government funding deal, an apparent indirect push for a week-long CR rather than passing a bill for provisional law that enters in 2022.
“I will continue to fight for a negotiated omnibus appropriations bill. … But starting those robust discussions requires Republicans to come to the table with their own proposal for the fiscal year 2022 appropriations, so that we can reconcile our differences and enact an omnibus in December, ”DeLauro wrote.
And other Democrats warn that the longer a CR lasts, the more money is wasted.
“The longer an ongoing resolution lasts, the more it costs taxpayers, because it wastes billions of dollars because people can’t make decisions,” the Senator said. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph Leahy The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Biden Praises Infrastructure Bill, Talks with China’s Xi Midterm Darkness Grows for Democrats Leahy’s Retirement Shakes Vermont Politics MORE (S-Vt.) He said.
House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton Hoyer On the money: Democrats try to get through the tape Democrats are optimistic they will reach the finish line this week Protecting Nature: A Glasgow Bright Spot MORE (D-Md.), While warning that he needs to speak to DeLauro, he told reporters: “I think it should be sooner rather than later. The CR is a very negative piece of legislation, and the longer it lasts, the more damaging it is to our government’s operations ”.
But setting a deadline for government funding in December would add another item to Congress’ year-end to-do list. The Senate is currently debating a mass defense policy bill and has yet to finish negotiating and take over. President BidenJoe Biden Idaho House of Representatives Passes Workers’ Compensation Bill Biden Submits 2016 Climate Treaty to Senate for Ratification Rubio Pledges to Delay Biden’s China and Spain Ambassador Candidates MOREA bill on social and climate spending that the Chamber aims to pass this week. They also face a moving target for when they need to raise the debt ceiling after approving a short-term debt increase earlier this year.
And it’s not clear that negotiators can come to an agreement and draft the massive spending package in a matter of weeks.
Its. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig Shelby The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Biden Praises Infrastructure Bill, Talks with Republicans in China’s 11th Senate Call on Colleagues to Reject Public Spending Bills Without Border Wall Funding Barrels of Congress towards the end of the year clash MORE (Alabama), the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, seemed skeptical that they could get a spending deal like a bus in mid-December, suggesting that lawmakers will have to end up passing another CR in February or March regardless. . – either ahead of the December 3 deadline or two weeks later, if they do a short-term patch.
“I think it is not impossible. It would be too hard. It would be hard to come by, ”Shelby said of the prospects for an end-of-year spending deal.
The split over how long to fund the government after Dec. 3 comes as senators say they’re confident there won’t be a shutdown in a matter of weeks, but they seem frustrated at the lack of progress toward a bigger spending deal.
“Oh God. Do you want to be hung by a rope or a knife?” Said the senator. Jon testerJonathan (Jon) Tester Democrats face squeeze on Biden Manchin’s spending bill says he “ has no idea ” if he will run for re-election in 2024 Spending bill faces problems in Senate PLUS (D-Mont.), Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, asked about an interim measure in mid-December or going into 2022. “I’d rather pass our appropriations bills so that we don’t have to have a CR. ”
When asked about the duration of a CR, Sen. Dick durbinDick Durbin Democrats consider cutting Thanksgiving recess amid crowding Senate Top Democrat calls on attorney general to fire congressional head of prisons towards year-end crowding MORE (D-Ill.), Another committee member, initially said he thought “the longer the better,” before coming back and saying he wants to see the appropriations bills for the entire year.
“I just want the regular appropriation bills to pass,” he said.
When asked if he thought a December 17 deadline would help keep the pressure down, he added: “I don’t know. Your guest is as good as mine.”