The Senate and House are poised today to approve a continuing resolution (CR – short term funding measure) until December 11, 2015. This stop-gap measure will avert the widely talked about shut down of the federal government. It seems certain that the CR will be “clean” and not contain any provisions that would defund Planned Parenthood which remains controversial for the Congress and the White House. Once both chambers have voted it will clear the CR for the president’s signature.
The budget deliberations have been complicated by the sudden resignation of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R – OH) on September 25 when he announced he will step down at the end of October. Boehner isn’t ruling out addressing the nation’s borrowing limit before he leaves office but, raising the debt ceiling will entail some heavy lifting.
So, what comes next? Reports of high-level budget talks between congressional leaders and the White House are set to start soon, which means the budget process is far from over. Republicans, democrats, and the President remain far apart on spending priorities for various federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education.