House Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Agree to Work to Avoid Government Shutdown in October
Sep 7, 2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have agreed to work to avoid a government shutdown this October. Funding for the current fiscal year is set to run out on September 30, shortly before the November 3 Presidential election. Specifically, the two have agreed not to let differences over COVID-19 virus relief legislation holdup a possible stopgap spending bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR, that would continue to fund the federal government at current levels going into the new fiscal year beginning October 1, as Congress is highly unlikely to pass all its appropriations before then.
A government shutdown so going into a presidential election is politically undesirable for both parties, which is fueling their willingness to make sure something is passed to keep the government open through the election. Current discussions around a CR plan to fund the federal government until mid-November, past election day. It has become commonplace in recent years for Congress not to pass its appropriations bills prior to the end of the current fiscal year. This year, appropriations bills are being held up in large part due to the major differences between the Trump administration and the Democrats when it comes to supplemental virus relief funding.
Democrats passed a $3.4 trillion virus relief package earlier this summer, while Republicans are capping their next virus relief package at $1 trillion. Speaker Pelosi has shared that the Democrats have already shown willingness to compromise, pairing down their package to $2.2 trillion, though there still remains a $1 trillion difference between the packages.
ASME will continue to report on any CR that develops, as well as on any updates to a possible COVID-19 relief package.