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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

Countdown to Shutdown? A Congressional Appropriations Update as the Deadline Draws Near

September 24, 2015 | Federal Budget | Comments
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With the clock ticking toward the September 30 deadline when funding for the federal government runs dry, lawmakers are in the final stretch as they seek to hatch a strategy to avert a government shutdown. The Senate started the ball rolling on Wednesday, when Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) introduced a continuing resolution (CR) that would provide level funding for the government through December 11. The funding measure would cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, a stipulation the President and Senate Democrats have made clear they will not support.

On Thursday, Chairman Cochran’s measure failed in the Senate, as expected.  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said he will strip the Planning Parenthood defunding provisions in an effort pass a “clean” CR. A clean CR would appropriate level funding for government programs through mid-December. This action will take another series of votes from the Senate over the weekend with final passage likely early next week.

On the House side, no similar efforts have yet been made. Assuming a funding measure passes the Senate before September 30, the House will have to decide whether or accept or reject it, potentially leading to the second government shutdown in three years.