Scrambling to Avoid Another Shutdown

Scrambling to Avoid Another Shutdown

Kevin Lamarque / REUTERS

We’ve been here before. Government funding runs out in three days. Bipartisan deals to raise spending caps and protect “dreamers” look unlikely happen anytime soon. So lawmakers are again scrambling to pass a short-term spending bill. Oh, and it’s congressional Democrats’ turn to head out on a three-day policy retreat starting Wednesday, though they say they’ll stick around in Washington until a deal is reached to ensure the government doesn’t shut down.

Against that backdrop, Politico reports that House Republican leaders will meet with their rank and file Monday night to figure out how to avoid a government shutdown Friday. GOP leaders are reportedly planning a six-week funding bill, though it’s not yet clear what sweeteners might be added to legislation to ensure it gets the necessary votes.

“Speaker Paul Ryan and House GOP leaders are considering whether to attach additional funding for the Pentagon to a continuing resolution to keep the government operating into late March, according to Republican lawmakers and aides,” John Bresnahan and Sarah Ferris write. “To attract more support, GOP leaders could also add a multi-billion-dollar funding boost to community health centers. The bipartisan program is running on fumes after Congress allowed a large chunk of its funding to expire in September.”

A House vote could come as soon as Tuesday. If it fails — an unlikely scenario — it might be difficult to steer clear of yet another shutdown. But key Republicans are confidently predicting there won’t be a shutdown this week.