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HomeMarketLawmakers Race for Budget Deal Before Friday's Deadline

Lawmakers Race for Budget Deal Before Friday’s Deadline

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Congress has until Friday to agree on a spending bill to keep the federal government funded for the next fiscal year, or to pass a short-term spending plan until they can come together on a larger budget.

If they don’t pass something by the end of Friday, they risk triggering a partial government shutdown. Many observers expect them to pass something temporary to push the deadline to later in December.

Some lawmakers favor passing a continuing resolution, a temporary solution that keeps spending at current levels, until the two parties can agree on a larger overall budget. 

Republicans are more than willing to postpone approving the larger omnibus budget until 2023, when they take control of the House in the next Congress and can promote their own spending priorities starting Jan. 3.

But Democrats who narrowly control both chambers now are reluctant to punt the budget decisions until next year.

“This idea that we will play political games and purposely wait until one party takes over after Jan. 3 so that they can then try to jam the Democrats in the House…would be really, really bad,” said Rep. Greg Stanton (D., Ariz.) told MSNBC on Sunday.

Lawmakers can pass the budget in the House with a simple majority, while in the Senate, at least 60 members must approve it. 

The two parties are currently deadlocked over $26 billion in nondefense spending. Republicans oppose Democrats’ proposal to increase funding to agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, while Democrats don’t want to cut funding for issues like veterans’ healthcare, The Wall Street Journal reported

Senators are separately considering an $858 billion military spending bill called the National Defense Authorization Act that authorizes military leaders to buy new weapons and increase pay for troops. Republicans pushed to end the requirement that military members must get vaccinated against Covid-19, saying it would help with recruitment and retention.

The House passed the defense bill on Thursday in a 350-to-80 vote. 

Some lawmakers want the budget to include an extension on Boeing‘s Dec. 27 deadline to secure federal safety approvals for two new versions of the 737 MAX airplane.
Boeing
said in a securities filing that without an extension, it might cancel both planes, potentially losing billions in revenue.

Other members want the budget proposal to include the Electoral Count Act, to change an 1887 law governing how Congress deals with presidential-election disputes, and is seen as a way to prevent what happened after the 2020 election, the Journal reported.

Another question mark is money for Ukraine. The White House wants another $37 billion more for economic and military aid for Ukraine. While there is broad support to assist Ukraine, some Republicans have called for an accounting of funds already spent on the effort.

Write to Janet H. Cho at janet.cho@dowjones.com

Credit: marketwatch.com

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