On September 23, as the House and Senate prepared to adjourn for a weeklong recess, Congress had not yet passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through the start of the new fiscal year, which begins October 1. To recess for the week and not return prior to the start of the fiscal year, Congress would have had to pass a CR by September 23. Congress has negotiated over a CR for several weeks; much of the debate has focused on whether and how to offset new disaster assistance spending.
The House passed a CR on September 22 with the minimal 219 votes. It would have extended government funding through November 18, allowing Congress seven more weeks to negotiate and pass its 12 appropriations bills in an omnibus bill. It also would have cut the “rate of operations” for government agencies by 1.409% during that period.
The Senate voted the CR down, as many objected to cuts proposed to offset disaster spending. Democrats claimed the cuts would affect programs that would produce jobs.
When it reconvenes on September 26, the Senate is expected to hold an evening vote on an alternative CR. Congress must pass one by the start of the fiscal year to avoid a government shutdown.