With impeachment proceedings looming and budget talks stalling, Congress will likely need a stopgap spending measure for February or March, the Senate’s top appropriator said last Thursday.
A continuing resolution, or CR, would avoid a government shutdown when the last funding patch expires Nov. 21, just before Congress takes its Thanksgiving recess.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said that if the House passes a resolution to impeach President Donald Trump, it will indefinitely dominate the the Senate’s business, forestalling budget talks.
“It takes a lot of oxygen out of the air, and some business is transacted, but it will slow everything down,” Shelby told reporters, adding that a continuing resolution could be needed into February or March.
The Senate last week voted to advance the a package of fiscal 2020 domestic spending bills passed by the House, which would include nearly one-third of all nondefense discretionary spending. The Senate is set to resume consideration of the package today.
That package excludes Department of Defense appropriations, which has been snagged in a fight over border wall funding. Democrats are likely to withhold support for defense spending until a larger spending deal is reached.
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