RESOLUTION IS NO CLEARER WITH FIVE DAYS TO GO BEFORE SHUTDOWN PART II
While many had hoped that the President’s State of the Union address last week would at least signal a path to avoiding a new partial government shut-down, that didn’t really materialize. This leaves Congressional leaders, and feds, with substantial uncertainty over what happens next. A bi-partisan Congressional group has been working on compromise spending legislation and may well be close to a deal. Whether the White House would accept that, however, is a large unknown. Even if Congress passed a spending bill and the president vetoed it, it is very uncertain whether there would be enough votes for an over-ride. Even the Democratically controlled House would need some level of Republican support for such an action. Indeed, some leaders in each party at least privately want the President to use his emergency authority to divert existing money and build a border wall so that they can pass a clean spending measure that is separate from that issue. While that opens a new can of worms for the use of presidential authority, it would, at least, result in a government that was on more sure footing in terms of being open for business. It is quite likely that this one will come down to the wire, as most shut-downs do. Contractors must be prepared to close down some operations, again, but may not have to. Watch next week closely and remember that at least this is more exciting than last Sunday’s “Super” Bowl.