Government Shutdown? GOP Prepping "Clean" Budget Resolution

Posted: Sep 10, 2014 1:35 PM

Last year, budget fights caused the federal government to shut down for a few days. This year, Republicans look to be planning a "clean" continuing resolution, setting government funding levels at the same place they've been at for this year.

As The Hill reports:

A stopgap funding bill to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1 will be released Tuesday afternoon, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said.

The House is expected to vote Thursday on the measure, which would last through Dec. 11.

Rogers said the expiration date will be in December so that members of the next Congress can start with a "clean slate."

"I want to see us get our business done and come into the next year with a clean slate. I don't want the new Congress in January to spend their first weeks and months dealing with past problems," Rogers said after a House GOP conference meeting.

In a mildly counterintuitive way, though, some of the more conservative members of Congress are pushing for a longer continuing resolution - at least through the new year. If the Rogers plan passes, a lame-duck Congress will have a shot at a new budget in December. But if some of the stauncher conservatives got their way, pushing this current CR longer would give a new Congress - and possibly a Republican majority in both houses, not just in the House - the opportunity to really take a crack at the budget.

As Roll Call reports:

Pushing the next big spending showdown into March, members of the ‘Cruz Caucus’ said, would give the new 114th Congress, which could include a Republican-controlled Senate, an opportunity to tackle government funding.

A Dec. 11 expiration means Congress will still have to address an omnibus spending package in the lame duck, when, regardless of the election results, Harry Reid of Nevada will still be Senate majority leader.

Another issue members discussed at length was the Export-Import Bank. While many of the members voiced opposition to the credit agency, some said they understood the strategy of eventually decoupling Ex-Im from a spending bill, which the proposed CR does by extending the bank to June 30.

Strategically, this makes sense, and the reports of Cruz's evening meetings would allow Republicans to take on some of the budget battles, like the Ex-Im bank, that Republicans are clamoring for.