Congressional Failures Part XXVIII: government shutdown fight rings out the old year
House and Senate appropriators are laboring to produce a $900 billion omnibus bill by the beginning of next week.
Failure to reach a deal would result in a government shutdown when current funding runs out Dec. 16. All sides stand to lose public support from such a standoff, which would confirm to many that Washington no longer functions.
House Republicans, eyeing approval numbers for Congress that have dipped into the single digits, are keen to avoid a bruising shutdown.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) confirmed on the House floor Friday that to smooth passage of the omnibus, the GOP will stick to the $1.043 trillion spending level of the August debt-ceiling deal with the White House.
Policy riders, however, could prove to be stumbling blocks to smooth passage.
Abortion and climate change measures demanded by Republican lawmakers remain especially problematic, aides said.