/House plans last-minute funding bill vote to avert shutdown

House plans last-minute funding bill vote to avert shutdown

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30:   U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) and House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (R) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol January 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. House Democrats held a news conference to introduce the "Paycheck Fairness Act."  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

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Leaving it to the last minute, the House will vote on a continuing resolution to keep government operating the week of November 18, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced in a letter to House members. Since funding runs out at the end of the day November 21, that gives them loads of time to get it done. Hours, even.

While that very short time frame for passing a bill before funding expires is anxiety-inducing, it also gives the House leverage it might need against the Senate and White House. It minimizes the amount of game-playing Mitch McConnell can do on behalf of Donald Trump. The House can position itself vis-a-vis the Senate with a take it or shut-the-government-down-for-Thanksgiving choice.

In the letter, Hoyer gives shade to the Senate “failure to complete their work on appropriations,” requiring the continuing resolution and says he is “hopeful that we can finish our work and fully fund the government before the end of the year.”

That means all 12 appropriations bills completed in both chambers, reconciled between the two and signed off by Trump. Who is still obsessing about his border wall when he’s not raging on Twitter about witch hunts. Hoyer’s optimism seems a tad misplaced, but who knows, maybe the holiday spirit will imbue everyone with goodwill and they won’t drag all the federal workers through another angst-filled holiday.