House Passes Fourth Continuing Resolution
Last night, the House passed, 230-197, a month-long stopgap funding bill to keep the government open. As our Jan. 17 Legislative Update detailed, progress on a larger budget deal to raise budget caps has stalled and other issues have complicated the path forward.
The Senate has begun the process for considering the House-passed CR, which also includes a six-year reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and blocks several tax provisions related to the Affordable Care Act. The votes for passage, however, may not be there, with four Republican Senators and nearly all Democrats against the measure.
If the Senate cannot pass the House bill, there are few options at their disposal. They could modify the bill to secure enough votes, although with so little time before shutdown, this is not a realistic option. Or they could attempt to pass an ever shorter CR—perhaps for 4-5 days—to prevent a shutdown and buy time for more political and policy wrangling. And of course, if the Senate cannot advance the House's bill or an alternative CR, the government will begin shutting down as of midnight tonight.
n4a will keep members apprised of this serious situation as it develops.