July 7, 2024

Potential for government shutdown looms in September absent elusive funding consensus

The threat of government shutdowns due to legislative stalemates has been something of a staple in recent decades, much to the frustration of Americans across the country.

As NTD reports, the prospect of a shutdown is poised to rear its head again come September, and the controversial passage of yet another continuing resolution is something few wish to see happen again regardless of the intricacies and difficulties inherent in the process.

Recent history raises concerns

The appropriations process, though it occupied much time and attention in Washington last year and in early 2024, did not yield anything close to the timely outcome lawmakers pledged to achieve.

There was a Sept. 30 deadline for the passage of 12 distinct bills designed to fund the federal government, Congress fell short of that target as well as the three subsequent extensions granted in which to meet its goal.

As such, the regrettable -- yet common -- necessity of continuing resolutions (CR) to keep the government afloat as negotiations continued emerged once more.

Though the failure of last year's appropriations processes even led to the ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, it may be that legislators have yet to learn their lesson.

Pundits and congressional insiders now suggest that the country could experience déjà vu all over again as this year's deadline draws nearer.

Some progress, but perhaps not enough

With a total of 12 bills requiring approval, it is worth noting that as of July 6, four have already reached that milestone.

When Congress reconvenes this week, the fifth on the list of bills will likely be undertaken, with current House Speaker Mike Johnson having promised that the entire complement of measures will be finished by month's end.

Though Johnson vowed to keep Congress in session despite its planned August recess if bills remain outstanding at that time, there is much work yet to do, given that Democrats have already signaled opposition to multiple provisions in their current form, with a presidential veto also a possibility.

As CBS News noted, lawmakers may prove tough to bring into line as autumn approaches and attentions turn to the November elections and pressing campaign priorities.

Though continuing resolutions remain an available option should things get dicey, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) has aptly described them as “the product of this fundamentally broken Congress that is unwilling to weather a storm in order to deliver real results for the American people,” and that is a sentiment with which millions of voters would surely agree.

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