Good morning from Washington (Texas style) where we had a hurricane sitting on the DMV area and the Commanders and Cowboys both lost games in which they should have been more competitive. The fall blues are coming to Congress fast, as doom and gloom appears imminent as the government is set to shut down on September 30th. Any progress on any legislation other than government funding is at a complete standstill. Welcome to a government funding update on the Week Ahead!
All weekend long the Administration has advised federal agencies to prepare for a long shutdown. The President was at a Congressional Black Caucus event casting blame to the “extreme” Republicans on holding up the funding of the government, as well as casting blame at Speaker McCarthy because he agreed to the budget framework and his party is not delivering. The irony of course is McCarthy needed Democrat support to pass the budget resolution and the bipartisan agreement was not supported by the “extreme” Republicans. The shutdown could affect thousands of workers throughout the federal government as both sides continue to play a game of political chicken – leaving a government shutdown an almost certain event.
Here is the latest from the trenches in the House of Representatives. There has been no progress on avoiding a government shutdown before September 30th. Last week the House brought up TWICE the Defense Funding bill and it was immediately voted down on the Rule to hear the bill on the floor. The Freedom Caucus had a rotation of five different members that constantly would interfere with the bill passing. This is important because it is the vehicle the Senate would use to send back to the House a CR that would last till December.
The Freedom Caucus is still holding up the process to move any appropriations bills from the House chamber and demanding a 30% across the board government cut to all agencies. These proposed cuts are deeper cuts than the initial Budget agreement. More significantly, the Freedom Caucus has promised to hold the line on not voting on any type of continuing resolution.
The latest plan from the Republicans to advert shutdown comes from Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL). His plan would package all 12 appropriations bills into 4 separate packages. McCarthy is running full steam ahead with the plan as he wants to show some progress to the American people and put the Senate on watch. The House Rules Committee met Friday before Congress left town to work on the rule to start voting these bills out on Tuesday. Even with Congressman Gaetz leading the charge, it does not guarantee any of these packages would pass the House.
Members of the Senate have openly stated they want to take control of the budget process, as House efforts continue to fail. The upper chamber continues to work in a bipartisan manner on a CR that would fund the government right up to Christmas recess. The Senate plans to take this measure up as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday and send it over to the House. Senate Leadership has been working with the Administration behind the scenes to get a bill through even though no one knows what is in the bill itself. The Senate also has told House Leadership that Congressman Gaetz’s plan is a non-starter in the upper chamber. According to House Leadership sources the Senate plan is a non-starter in the lower chamber. So – there’s that…
Create a great week!