With a December 11 government shutdown looming, lawmakers have reached a deal on the overall totals for a $1.4 trillion federal budget, Politico reported Monday evening, but they’ll only have two weeks to finalize the bill before the deadline, and it’s too early to tell whether any additional coronavirus relief will be included in that legislation.
Roll Call reported Monday that the Thanksgiving holiday was seen as a crucial deadline for appropriators to reach an agreement on the budget so that staff could have enough time to draft the omnibus spending bill and pass it before the December deadline.
Lawmakers had originally aimed to reach an agreement on an omnibus spending bill for all of 2021—not a temporary continuing resolution—by the end of last week.
The Senate GOP’s budget proposal did not include any additional coronavirus aid measures, but the House Democrats’ proposal did.
It isn’t impossible that a few aid provisions—like extensions of key pandemic programs set to expire at the end of the year—might make it into the budget, but that will depend on whether appropriators left any room in their topline agreement for the emergency measures.
“We have been working on the omnibus bill, and I thought that would be a segue into [more coronavirus relief],” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during a press briefing last Friday. “Let’s hope that it is.”
15 days. That’s how long lawmakers have before the December 11 shutdown deadline.
If the deadline comes and goes before Congress passes a spending bill, federal agencies will be forced to shut down some of their discretionary functions (excluding essential services) until new funding legislation is enacted, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. That could affect the administrative functions of the Social Security Administration (though checks will still be sent out) and Medicare program, IRS mortgage and loan approvals, air travel, national parks and more, the CRFP said.