"If we do a CR, it'll be short term. When I say short term, no more than 60 days. Shutting down the government is a harmful alternative."
—House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Work on fiscal 2020 spending bills has been ongoing in the House for months. The House Appropriations Committee has marked up all 12 spending bills, 10 of which the chamber passed by mostly party-line votes.
The Senate will likely use the House bills as a guide as the two chambers conference over appropriations bills ahead of the end of the fiscal year.
Debate over the homeland security appropriations bill, which ultimately held up negotiations last year and led to a 35-day government shutdown, will likely be divisive again this year.
One new issue this year that could divide some Republican appropriators is whether to restrict when and how the administration can reprogram money, especially for border barrier construction.
Senators are discussing how they can package together the appropriations bills into some kind of omnibus.
Before leaving for the August recess, Congress passed a massive budget deal that raised caps on domestic and defense spending and suspension of the debt ceiling through July 2021, decreasing the likelihood of a government shutdown. Domestic programs will, on average, receive 4 percent increases in the first year of the pact, with much of those gains eaten up by veterans increases and an unavoidable surge for the US Census. Defense will jump to $738 billion next year, a 3 percent hike.
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