Both Houses of Congress departed Washington on September 15 without taking any action on a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running when its funding runs out on September 30.
The delay stems from Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s decision to include West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin’s permitting reform proposal to a continuing resolution to keep the government open until mid-December. The proposal has yet to be released, but Republicans are already indicating their opposition and are instead backing an alternative proposed by West Virginia Republican Shelley Moore Capito.
Manchin told reporters he needs at least 20 Senate Republicans to back his plan, which is also coming under fire from Democrats. At least 70 House Democrats have come out in opposition to the plan saying it would result in more gas and oil drilling, which they oppose. Under current circumstances, Schumer, Democrat of New York, doesn’t have the 60 votes necessary to pass a CR that includes Manchin’s proposal. And, even if it were to clear the Senate, it appears the House lacks the necessary 218 votes for passage.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, warned House members on the floor September 15 that unless they come together on an agreement soon they will remain in session through October 1, a Saturday, to complete the CR.
“There’s some discussion about what are we going to do the last week in September,” Hoyer told House lawmakers. “And I’ve told my members and would also make clear to all of our members, including [Republicans], that they ought to be making sure the last three days of [September] weekdays and that Saturday, they ought to keep clear so that if in fact we need to work during [that] period of time, and my expectation is that we are going to have to, that they not be canceling events that they scheduled. So being on notice, I think, would be fair to them and fair to anybody we’re scheduling with.”
Other provisions that could end up attached to the CR are additional funds for Ukraine, FDA fees legislation and possibly some disaster aid relief.
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