Avoiding Government Shutdown Likely

Action to come Thursday.

“WASHINGTON” Congressional leaders reached a deal Tuesday on a more than $1 trillion spending package that would fund most of the federal government through the current fiscal year. But because negotiations on the package dragged over policy details, House lawmakers also prepared to move on a short-term spending measure that would avert a government shutdown if Congress cannot pass the larger bill by Thursday, when the current funding expires. Even with nettlesome last-minute issues, leaders in both parties expressed confidence that they would be able to keep the government running. Lawmakers battled behind the scenes over dozens of additional policy provisions ranging from the Environmental Protection Agency’s jurisdiction over some bodies of water to the District of Columbia’s marijuana laws to matters of campaign finance. The big spending package, which congressional leaders had hoped to have ready on Monday, did not come until Tuesday evening. The final legislation would largely keep domestic funding at current levels, while providing more money to fight various crises abroad. The House is expected to vote on the package on Thursday before sending it to the Senate. The short-term measure would provide the Senate cover and avoid a government shutdown if the Senate is unable to also pass the bill that day.

The spending bill would fund nearly all of the federal government through September 2015, except for the Department of Homeland Security, which it would fund only through February, in retaliation for President Obama’s unilateral action to defer the deportation of as many as five million undocumented immigrants. Congressional Republicans plan to take up funding for the agency which has primary responsibility for carrying out the president’s immigration directive early next year, when they will control both chambers of Congress and believe they will have more leverage”-New York Times December 10, 2014