Congress

Congress running out of time to pass funding bill

US Congress House side Shutterstock photo ID: 156615524 By mdgn editorial use only 

Once again, the deadline to pass the fiscal year 2018 budget is approaching.

This time around, lawmakers have until March 23 to either pass an omnibus spending bill or a sixth continuing resolution.

"We can't possibly have another continuing resolution," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at her weekly press conference, adding "it is necessary" to pass an omnibus funding package.

Pelosi lamented the current budget climate "is so dysfunctional as far as government is concerned."

In February, both Republicans and Democrats touted the passage of the two-year budget agreement to lift spending caps, which paved the way for the current, fifth stopgap spending bill. But many of the same political points of disagreement -- funding of Planned Parenthood, immigration, domestic spending and a permanent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals resolution -- remain unresolved.

As it stands, Pelosi said Democrats were waiting on a "serious global response" from Republicans to the issues her party raised relating to the funding bill.

"My understanding, from the Republicans in Congress, is that it's hard for them to give us a global statement," she said, "because they don’t know where the president is."

A House Appropriations Committee spokesperson told FCW the committee expects the omnibus bill to be filed early next week. On March 13, President Donald Trump visited California to inspect border wall prototypes, and on Twitter he called for border wall funding and the defunding of "sanctuary jurisdictions."

Given the range of issues and tight legislative window, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) expressed skepticism about the passage of an omnibus budget bill by the March 23 deadline.

"We're just running out of time," he said.

“I would guess -- just a guess -- there’s going to be another short-term CR in our future while they try to work out an omnibus,” he continued. "Obviously the name of the game here is to have an omnibus, and I believe we will. But will have it by March 23? Count me in the skeptical camp. I doubt it."

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.