Why Does Congress Need a Whole Seven Days to Solve Its Money Problems?
The ever-shrinking cycle of government funding measures appears to be about to hit a recent low. A National Review report on Wednesday afternoon indicates that House Republicans want a one-week extension of the existing funding bill. We say: Why so long?
Instead of passing annual budgets, as it is supposed to, Congress has of late been relying on "continuing resolutions," short-term extensions of the existing federal budget. The government came into 2013 powered by a temporary funding resolution passed last September. In March, it passed another continuation of current spending levels lasting to the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. Over the course of the recent tumultuous debate over how to fund the government from that point on, various proposals cropped up.
Several weeks ago, vague discussions centered on a one-year extension of the current budget. When the House passed its resolution last week -- the one that famously excluded funding for Obamacare -- it stipulated that funding would only continue through December 15. (That's what this whole Ted Cruz fight has been over: funding the government not even until Christmas.) On Tuesday, the Senate Democrats did one better. The Hill reports on an idea from Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland to only extend funding through mid-November.