Senators on key committee are optimistic that stopgap funding bill will pass

Listen to this article

WASHINGTON – Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee said they are cautiously optimistic that the upper chamber will approve a continuing resolution (CR) the House passed last week that would fund the government through mid-November.

“We have to, we have to get it passed. I wish it had been done last week,” Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) told TMN Tuesday.

Leahy emphasized the importance of going through regular appropriations process.

“We’ve marked up several of our bills. We can get those passed.”

Leahy added: “I don’t like CR’s if we can avoid them. The House has passed a number of their bills. We’ve passed out of committee a number of ours. Let’s do our work and vote them up or down.”

“I’ll know more after I hear the briefing that I’m going to but at this point I haven’t heard any [problems],” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) said of the CR.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen said “as of right now” he expects the CR to pass.

“You never know around here, but it seems to be on a clear path.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said he will vote for the CR.

“I’m certainly going to vote for it and I hope that it’s short so that we can have a full appropriations [process].”

The Senate is expected to vote on the CR later this week. It would fund the government at existing levels through Nov. 21. It would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for that duration as well reimburse the Commodity Credit Corporation for payments it has made to farmers who have been hurt by the trade with China.

Three legislative days remain before lawmakers are scheduled to leave Washington for a two-week recess for the Jewish holidays. That means Friday, Sep. 27 is the last possible day for a vote on the CR unless legislative business is extended to Monday, Sep. 30. If no action is taken, the government will run out of money at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Oct. 1.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has passed 10 of the 12 annual appropriations bills that fund the government. The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up several appropriations bills this week.

This article is republished with permission from TMN