WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Time is running out for Congress to approve a government funding measure and avoid a shutdown.
Lawmakers have until Sept. 30 to either pass a full annual budget or a short-term funding bill, called a continuing resolution, or CR.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is advocating for a clean CR, which would only extend the current funding levels until lawmakers can agree on the larger budget.
“I would prefer it just to be a clean CR. Let’s just fund government,” Kaine said.
But in order to get the Inflation Reduction Act passed, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., made a deal with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to pass a plan that includes expediting permits for energy projects.
“The permitting agreement is part of the IRA agreement. I’m going to add it to the CR and it will pass,” Schumer said.
Not everyone likes the idea of adding the permitting plan to the CR.
“I think that should be done separately,” Kaine said.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., also wants to see a clean CR. He says adding extra pieces to the bill risks a government shutdown.
“The Democrats will decide whether we shut down government or not. I don’t believe we ought to be shutting down government. I think we ought to have a clean CR,” Scott said. “And any issues that we want to talk about we ought to have a separate vote on those.”
Sen. Kaine is optimistic Congress will find a way to get it done.
“Will it have the permitting reform in or out or how much of it will be in or out? That’s still TBD. But I’m not worried about government shutdown right now,” Kaine said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., wants to see Congress move quickly on it.
“I’m hopeful that we can do it sooner rather than later and don’t have some Sept. 30 crisis that we seem to always create,” Hoyer said.