December is a busy time for members of congress, but the impeachment process has many Americans wondering if lawmakers will be able to keep the government open.
“I don’t think we’re headed for a shutdown,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a CNN town hall. “I don’t think anybody wants that. I think the president and the Republicans learned in the last shutdown that … there was no upside to it.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed the sentiments of many Americans when he said that the American people have every right to be upset with Democrats. “American families deserve better than this partisan paralysis where Democrats obsess over impeachment and obstruct everything else.”
The California Democrat faces a testing over the next two weeks, toggling between the impeachment of President Donald Trump and past-ripe issues including North American trade legislation and a massive government-wide funding bill.
December is always a busy time in Congress as busted deadlines come due and must-pass legislation reaches the floor. But the poisonous atmosphere surrounding impeachment has raised questions about whether lawmakers can deliver their usual year-end bundle.
…Topping the agenda is legislation to avoid another government shutdown. A government-wide funding bill expires on Dec. 20, leaving lawmakers little time to prevent a repeat of last winter’s shutdown fiasco. A new battle over money for Trump’s U.S-Mexico border wall, the same issue that started the last shutdown, remains unresolved.
Lawmakers insist that the government will be funded “before Christmas.”
Politico says House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey said on Friday that there’s no talk of another continuing resolution in the lower chamber, and she’s optimistic about fully funding the government before the Christmas break.
“There are two weeks. That’s a lifetime in appropriations!“ the New York Democrat quipped. “Maybe a couple issues will have to be pushed upwards. But we hope to get it resolved by the end of the weekend.“
Lowey said the House could start voting on bills as soon as next week, but she has also said that lawmakers might need next week to keep working on the issues.
Although lawmakers say they have plenty of time, some are skeptical.
“Time is the biggest enemy of any agreement. Beyond hammering out the very contentious policy issues, moving all 12 bills — no matter the vehicle — takes time,” says fox2now.com. “That is not something that is in abundance. There are two weeks and a laundry list of huge items outside of spending bills to deal with. This is akin to a legislative traffic jam staring everyone in the face. Right now it’s not out of the realm of possibility Democrats could attempt to move a government funding package, the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement approval, their prescription drug bill and the National Defense Authorization Act, and impeachment on that final week before Christmas. That’s a lot.”
“The reality is we haven’t closed the big deal, the big impediments,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) on Thursday. “I think that’s being thought of more and more each day.”
With the impeachment most likely moving to the Senate, a trial is set to take up much of the Senators’ time, so they have to get a lot done in a small window. Let’s see if this impeachment continues to get in the way of congress doing its job.