With no sign of progress on appropriations bills stalled in the Senate, the House is making plans to pass a “clean” continuing resolution that will keep the government running at least into December, a top House member said this week.
In an interview with the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call Wednesday in Philadelphia, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said that he expected the House to take up a CR when it reconvenes in early September that will fund the government “until Dec. 11 is what we’re thinking.” That CR will be a “clean” one in the sense that it will not include any controversial policy provisions that could spark opposition from Democrats.
“We will pass a clean [continuing resolution], and if for some reason the Democrats don’t take that, then they will clearly have shut the government down,” Ryan told Roll Call.
A CR appeared likely when Congress recessed at the end of July without any sign of progress on several key appropriations bills, including the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) one that funds NASA and NOAA, in the Senate. The House passed its CJS appropriations bill at the end of May, but debate on the Senate’s version ground to a halt on the Senate floor in mid-June over non-NASA provisions of the bill. The Senate has yet to pass any of its appropriation bills for fiscal year 2015.
Ryan’s comments were intended to respond to claims that Republicans were planning to try and insert policy provisions into a CR that could lead to another government shutdown like the one last October. Ryan, in a new book due out next week (the tour for which brought him to Philadelphia), admitted the shutdown was a “suicide mission” for House Republicans. He added that, along with a CR, the House would support a short-term reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank through the end of the calendar year to allow more time to work out a long-term solution. Many conservatives have opposed any long-term reauthorization of Ex-Im, which, among other activities, has supported commercial satellite and launch sales.