Congress Passes One Week Budget
Congress passes a budget, of sort. It’s not good for a year, or even half a year, but for one week. The new budget funds the federal government through May 5, 2017. Thus, this avoids another government shutdown. The House voted 382 to 30 today to approve the deal. Negotiators from the House and Senate are ready to work through the weekend to finalize a longer-term deal aimed at funding the government through the end of the fiscal year in September.
Healthcare Bill Is Still in the Works
One of the issues causing the budget delay was the Republicans desire to include a revised Healthcare bill. Finally, late last night, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced there would be no vote on the bill today. He said, “We are not voting on healthcare tomorrow. We’re still educating members. We’ve been making great progress. As soon as we have the votes, we’ll vote on it.” The failure to revive the bill, one of President Donald Trumps main campaign promises, was another blow to his accomplishments marking his first 100-days in office.
Aside from the healthcare bill there are other major obstacles dividing the Republicans and Democrats on reaching agreement with the budget. One of these is the Republicans efforts to boost the defense spending bill – Trump has proposed a $30 billion spending hike for the remainder of the fiscal year. Other issues include proposed funding for healthcare for coal miners and plugging a gap in Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program (the government health insurance program for the poor).
When asked about the possible government shutdown President Trump said, “If there’s a shutdown, there’s a shutdown.”