After tweeting that a partial government shutdown “will last for a very long time,” the President met with Senate Republican leadership this morning to discuss a path forward to avert a lapse in appropriations that would otherwise begin tonight. Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) has also confirmed this morning via tweet that he has no plans to override current law and long-standing Senate tradition and rules that require 60 votes for most legislation to be considered by the chamber.
As a reminder, parts of FDA are currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR, P.L. 115-298) that expires tonight at midnight.
The Senate cannot advance yesterday’s House-passed CR that would keep the above agencies operating at current funding levels through Friday, February 8, with the President’s requested $5 billion for border wall procurement and construction added. It is not yet clear whether the Senate may re-send the House its previously passed narrower CR that would keep these agencies open through February 8 without any monies for a border wall or whether Senator McConnell will attempt to consider an alternative funding measure.
NTEU-supported legislation to ensure back pay for any furloughed employees in a shutdown has been introduced in both congressional chambers—Senator Cardin’s (MD-D) S. 2274 and H.R. 7368 sponsored by Representatives Beyer (D-VA) and Wittman (R-VA).
I am very concerned about how close to a shutdown our elected officials have brought us given the time needed for the legislative process. I will keep you updated as the White House and Congress continue to negotiate on a potential funding agreement.
For more information, please visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center.