Congress has yet to pass an appropriations bill, leading to increased concerns that the federal government will shut down as the new fiscal year begins on October 1. The House has tried and failed to bring several appropriations account bills to the House floor but has not managed to win enough votes to move any of them forward. And House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has not yet proposed a temporary budget measure (known as a “continuing resolution” or CR) that his caucus will agree to pass.
Meanwhile, a group of more than 140 House Democrats are asking leadership to advance a “clean” CR which would extend federal funding at current levels, without “poison pill policy riders,” to keep federal agencies in operation until a full-year spending bill can be passed. Another group of lawmakers has endorsed a “framework” for a bill that would keep the government running until January 11th, with additional money for disaster relief and aid to Ukraine.
Federal agencies are preparing their own shutdown policies as a precautionary measure. The last time there was a threat of a government shutdown in 2021, the U.S. Department of Education classified employees processing formula program allocations and drawdowns as “essential” to ensure funds were available on time. A similar classification is likely to be made this year, but that will still leave employees in program offices unable to respond to routine inquiries or process new grant or waiver applications.