President signs bill to avert government shutdown

Larger budget negotiation may follow.

On September 30, on the eve of Fiscal Year 2016, the House of Representatives and Senate cleared HR 719, a stopgap spending bill to continue funding the federal government through December 11.  The bill that reached the President is a “clean” resolution; that is, it contains no legislative riders. 

There were efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in both the House and Senate, but the final version the Senate passed did not include the rider and the House ultimately passed a nonbinding “sense of the House” provision that was not included in the bill sent to the President.

 Preliminary negotiations over a longer-term budget deal have already begun, but, so far, little headway has been made.  Congressional Democrats are demanding increases in domestic spending to match any defense spending increases that GOP lawmakers have called for.

There has been a big change in the cast of characters who would negotiate any longer term budget deal. The resignation of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) appears to add strength to the House Freedom Caucus, the more conservative group of members who tend to support sequestration and oppose any compromise involving increasing taxes. However, if negotiations take place before Boehner leaves at the end of October, there is a greater opportunity for a deal. 

In an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" on September 27, Speaker Boehner suggested he may want to undertake the larger budget negotiation. "I don't want to leave my successor a dirty barn. I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there," he said.