Hoyer Says Continuing Resolution Will Be Necessary to Avoid Another Shutdown

September 6, 2019 by Dan McCue
Hoyer Says Continuing Resolution Will Be Necessary to Avoid Another Shutdown

WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Thursday that a continuing resolution will be necessary to keep the government funded past Oct. 1 and prevent the second shutdown in less than a year.

In a letter to House members published on the Dome Watch App late Thursday afternoon, Hoyer said he expects the House to consider a clean resolution to keep the government funded the week of Sept. 16.

“While the House did its work and sent 10 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,” Hoyer lamented.

“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 that one we experienced earlier this year, which harmed thousands of American families,” he said.


Separately, Hoyer told the Federal News Network that any continuing resolution approved by the House would certainly be short-term, meaning “no more than 60 days” in duration.

That could set the stage for yet another battle over government funding in early December.

Once the House reconvenes Sept. 9, lawmakers will have just 13 legislative days on Capitol Hill before taking another two-week break. That’s the window for a budget agreement.

After that, there will only be 37 days during which both chambers will be in session between now and the break and the end of the calendar year to tackle several other thorny issues.

The last, partial government shutdown began in late December 2018, and continued for a record 35 days, ending only on Jan 25.

As Hoyer said, the House actually passed 10 of its 12 annual funding bills, doing so by June 30. Only the homeland security and legislative bills remain on the House to-do list.

The Senate, by contrast, passed not one funding bill, waiting for the White House and Congressional leaders to forge a two-year budget agreement. That didn’t happen until Aug. 2, by which time Congress’s annual August recess was getting under way.

The deal President Donald Trump signed suspended the debt ceiling through July 2021 — removing the threat of a default during the 2020 elections — and raised domestic and military spending by more than $320 billion compared to existing law over the next two fiscal years.

However, rather than removing the possibility of a government shutdown, it merely set spending levels for House and Senate appropriators to strike their own deal to keep the government going.

Last month, Hoyer told reporters that he planned to speak with Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and Senator Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, “and urge them to do everything they can between now and Sept. 30 … to see if we can come to an agreement.”


The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to start voting on legislation on Sept. 12, and Senate Republicans reportedly believe they can pass most if not all of the government funding measures by the end of the month.

But even if the Senate is able to pass legislation before Oct. 1, they would still need to work out a broader agreement with the House.

“I think that we can get to an agreement on most of the bills,” Hoyer said in August.

Debate over the homeland security appropriations bill, which ultimately held up negotiations last year and led to the 35-day government shutdown, will likely be divisive again this year.

Missing the October 1 deadline to enact all 12 appropriation bills is not unusual; in fact, that deadline has not been fully met since fiscal year 1997, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Since 1998, 117 continuing resolutions have been enacted by Congress.

“Funding the government for a full year is preferable to using a CR because it allows government agencies to plan appropriately and match their resources with their responsibilities,’ the Peterson Foundation says on its website. “Predictability benefits the economy by providing certainty about government actions.”

The foundation also goes on to note the potential impact of another government shutdown — slower economic growth, a rise in unemployment, and higher borrowing costs for businesses.

An S&P Analysis found that a shutdown could reduce economic activity by as much as $6.5 billion per week.

While the Senate works through its funding bills, Hoyer wrote that while waiting for the Senate to work through its funding bills, the House will take up H.R. 1423, legislation that would eliminate forced arbitration in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases., and it will consider H.R. 3106, the Domestic Terrorism DATA Act, which has passed out of the Homeland Security Committee.

Among other things, the DATA Act would require the FBI, Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to produce an annual, unclassified joint report that provides the following: data on domestic terrorist incidents; assessments, investigations, indictments, prosecutions, and convictions on domestic terrorism charges.

“We will also address a number of items that expire on September 30th, including the National Flood Insurance Program, authorization of the Export-Import Bank, and a number of health programs,” Hoyer wrote.


The Leader said he also expects the House to go to conference on the National Defense Authorization Act and to consider additional legislation addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border, following up on legislation it passed in July.

“Following the tragic mass shootings that occurred over August in El Paso, Dayton, Midland and Odessa, House Democrats continue to urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on H.R. 8, which requires universal background checks and is supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans. While we wait for the Senate to act on this commonsense measure, next week the Judiciary Committee will mark up additional gun violence prevention legislation that the House could consider this work period,” he wrote.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Federal Budget

May 13, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Space is the Future for National Defense, Military Officials Tell Congressional Panel

WASHINGTON — Space was described as the final frontier for defending the United States against weapons of mass destruction from... Read More

WASHINGTON — Space was described as the final frontier for defending the United States against weapons of mass destruction from China and Russia at a congressional hearing Friday. Leading the U.S. defense effort is the Space Force, a new branch of the military that seeks to... Read More

April 27, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
FDA Falls Short of User Fee Goals but Still Seeks Double the Budget

WASHINGTON — Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions wanted to know why the U.S. Food... Read More

WASHINGTON — Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions wanted to know why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requesting nearly double its annual budget while failing to meet many of the goals tied to user fee agreements.  “It should be... Read More

April 8, 2022
by Dan McCue
Fiscal Watchdog Says Recess Will Give Senate Time to Fix Flaw in Relief Funding

WASHINGTON — The bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill introduced this week in the Senate had a fatal flaw beyond a lack... Read More

WASHINGTON — The bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill introduced this week in the Senate had a fatal flaw beyond a lack of support from Republicans, its “pay-as-you-go” billing was completely illusory, a prominent fiscal watchdog said Friday. The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan organization that has been... Read More

March 15, 2022
by Dan McCue
Shalanda Young Confirmed as OMB Director

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted 61-36 to confirm Shalanda Young as director of the Office of Management and... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted 61-36 to confirm Shalanda Young as director of the Office of Management and Budget, making her the first Black woman in history to head the office and the fifth Black woman to be named to President Biden’s Cabinet.  Young’s... Read More

March 15, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
White House Outlines Dire Outcomes if Congress Fails to Pass COVID Relief Aid Bill 

WASHINGTON — The White House issued a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday outlining what might happen now... Read More

WASHINGTON — The White House issued a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday outlining what might happen now that the $22.5 billion in COVID-19 relief aid was dropped from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022. “We continue to urge Congress to promptly provide the... Read More

Top Lawmakers Reach Deal on Ukraine Aid, $1.5T Spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan deal early Wednesday providing $13.6 billion to help Ukraine and European allies... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan deal early Wednesday providing $13.6 billion to help Ukraine and European allies plus billions more to battle the pandemic as part of an overdue $1.5 trillion measure financing federal agencies for the rest of this year. Though a... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top