Short Term Continuing Resolution Likely

Members of the Senate, including Minority Whip John Cornyn (D-TX), are expecting that the debate surrounding taking military actions in Syria will increase the prospects of enacting a short term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government beyond the September 30th end of the Federal fiscal year.

The House and Senate are due back from the August Recess on September 9th.  Originally, both Chambers had expected to use the next couple of weeks to focus on trying to move appropriations bills and looking for ways to avert a government shutdown. The House and Senate also expected to begin to tackle the looming debt ceiling crisis (current Federal borrowing authority maxes out in mid-October).

The Syria issue, however, is a game changer.  Now, legislators are more likely to work toward a stopgap spending measure as they spend more time debating foreign policy.  In fact, there is an expectation that the House may consider a CR as early as next week.  The resolution probably would be a straightforward extension of FY 13 discretionary spending ($988 billion) for at least two or three months.  Timing for consideration of the debt ceiling issue is uncertain at the moment but likely will be taken up at a later time.