Congress’ primary job between now and Sept. 30 is to keep the government funded but with only 14 legislative working days between now and then, it will take some type of continuing resolution to authorize spending past the end of the current fiscal year.
Back from its seven-week break and just like last year, the Senate is looking at a short-term spending extension that would last through early December, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.
“We’re going to work toward the Dec. 9 date at last year’s levels,” The Hill reported he said Wednesday. “We’re looking for a way forward. I hope to be able to turn to it next week.”
The Republican leader’s comments mark the first time he’s laid out his plan for funding the government past Oct. 1 and avoiding a shutdown. A short-term spending bill that expires in December would pit McConnell against the House Freedom Caucus and some Senate Republicans, including Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, who would prefer a longer continuing resolution, The Hill reported.
Senate Democrats have vowed to oppose any measure that stretches into next year.
McConnell said Wednesday that he has “started discussions” with Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and the White House. Having the continuing resolution expire in December would force lawmakers to pass either another short-term bill or an omnibus spending package by the end of the year.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
How Our Regulatory System Broke, and Why We Must Fix it
(U.S. Chamber Keller 9/8) “Today, government bureaucrats, instead of elected representatives, make the majority of laws coming out of Washington. In one year, Congress enacted 138 public laws, while federal agencies finalized 2,926 rules. We need #RegReform.
“We all learned in grade school that our country’s government was built around the simple concept of checks and balances. One of the most important protections they put in place was frequent elections-a tool by which the American people could hold lawmakers accountable for the rules that were made. Somewhere along the way, however, that rulemaking process began to break down. Today, it has been replaced by one in which unelected, unnamed government bureaucrats, instead of elected members of Congress, make the vast majority of the rules coming out of Washington.
“Today, the vast majority of laws governing the United States are not passed by Congress but are issued as regulations. One study found that in 2007, Congress enacted 138 public laws, while federal agencies finalized 2,926 rules, including 61 major rules (those imposing costs of more than $100 million). Collectively, these rules inflict about $125 billion in costs on the American economy every year.”
“Congress can take a big step toward fixing the system by passing the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) to improve transparency and accountability, and modernize the Administrative Procedure Act. RAA would focus on the most significant and high-impact regulations that have a nationwide impact on jobs and economic growth-that is, the rules that stifle investment and dampen Americans’ risk-taking drive and entrepreneurial spirit. Most importantly, RAA would ensure congressional intent is achieved, and that the will of Congress and the will of the American people are driving our lawmaking process.”
NAM, U.S. Chamber Urge Congressional Ex-Im Action
(National Association of Manufacturers Drogus 9/8) “National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement urging Congress to move legislation, as part of the upcoming Continuing Resolution that would allow the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank to consider and act on all transactions immediately:
“The Continuing Resolution represents the most viable path forward to restore full operations at the U.S. Ex-Im Bank, which is vital to American businesses and their supply chains trying to compete in a fierce global economy. A supermajority in Congress has already settled the question of Ex-Im reauthorization, and there is simply no more time to waste. Following the Senate’s failure to act on a board nomination that would reinstate the bank’s full functionality, we urge Congress to embrace identical language adopted in both the House and Senate foreign operations appropriations bills to fully reopen the bank as intended.”
(The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. The Business Council of Alabama is the NAM and U.S. Chamber’s exclusive representative in Alabama.)