When Congress doesn't fight over spending
So, Congress may actually not fight over spending levels this fall.
A stopgap bill, or continuing resolution to keep the government funded for six months, is expected make it through both chambers this week. The text of the bill is expected later Monday, and the House Rules Committee will discuss the CR on Wednesday.
My colleague Katy O'Donnell reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised no policy riders this go-around, and the CR raises current spending levels by $8 billion:
Rumors that defense authorization or the farm bill would be tacked onto the must-pass funding measure circulated last week, much to the chagrin of appropriators.
"It's hard for me to say definitively one way or the other" whether another bill would be attached, said House Appropriations GOP press secretary Jen Hing, "but my chairman has always said we need to do a clean CR."
Because leadership already set the CR at a $1.047 trillion rate, appropriators were given $8 billion in extra funds to allocate, a process they were still sorting through last week. Going into the weekend, leadership hadn't signed off on where the increases would go. The money could simply be divvied up formulaically to grant an across-the-board increase, or funding could go to targeted programs.National Journal subscribers can read O'Donnell's story here.