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Congress Scrambles to Pass Spending Bill During Short Session

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Congress Scrambles to Pass Spending Bill During Short Session

September 12, 2016
Not wanting to repeat the government shutdown that caused the public to have intensely negative feelings about Congress in October 2013, Congress is eyeing a short-term spending bill while in session this week to avoid a repeat of that scenario. The return from the August recess is short, with Congressmembers anxious to return to their home districts to focus on their own reelection campaigns, or to assist in campaigning for the Presidential race. 
 
Congressional leaders are in talks with the Obama administration on what a continuing resolution (CR) will look like. It will likely fund the government through mid-December, at which point another CR would have to be put in place to fund the government into the new year, and the next administration. Rather than passing an all-encompassing omnibus bill, Republican lawmakers have expressed a preference to pass smaller appropriation bills in the lame-duck session. Democrats, on the other hand, are seeking a more expansive spending bill, without any "vexatious riders", according to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). 
 
Familiar sticking points appear to be resurfacing, particularly the battle over Planned Parenthood funding, which has in recent months kept lawmakers from reaching a compromise on funding measure to prevent and treat the Zika virus. 
 
Source: The Hill