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Another Funding Cliffhanger in the Making


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December 22 is the expiration date for the latest Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government afloat.  House and Senate members agreed that the two week extension would allow enough time to finish up the tax bill and put a new two-year spending cap deal in place.
While those things may happen by the end of next week, there are still troubling demands on both sides of the aisle that may defeat the likelihood of an FY 18 funding agreement.  For example, Senate Democrats are determined that any funding measure must have parity between defense and domestic spending.  At present, House conservatives are calling for a strategy that would fully fund FY 18 defense plans but put another CR in place for everything else until February 2018.  Democrats in both chambers are seriously opposed to that approach and Senate Dems are vowing to filibuster any spending measure that would include the House approach.  Such action (or inaction) would shut down the government as of December 23.
Neither party wants to be responsible for a government shutdown…and especially not in the holiday season.  The most likely endgame will be for both Chambers to come to agreement on still another CR to extend funding into, at least, January 2018.  It likely will also include some additional emergency funding for wildfires and hurricane recovery.