Defense Spending Bill, Others Stall in Senate; Odds Increase for FY 2019 Continuing Resolution

Defense Spending Bill, Others Stall in Senate; Odds Increase for FY 2019 Continuing Resolution

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked Republican efforts to advance a four-bill appropriations package that includes $693 billion in fiscal 2020 defense spending, increasing the odds of a short-term budget extension to avoid a looming partial government shutdown, Defense News reported.

The GOP-led Senate motion fell short of gaining 60 votes to proceed, failing 51-44. The motion’s failure means the Pentagon will likely start FY 2020 without a set budget to guide its spending priorities and flexibility in addressing unexpected crisis.

House Democratic leaders have said they expect later this week to vote on a continuing resolution to keep the government open through Nov. 21, as On Base reported earlier this week.

However, House disputes over language that would allow the administration to continue with agricultural subsidies over its trade war policy were delaying release of the stopgap measure to fund the government beyond Sept. 30, CQ reported Wednesday.

For the most part the House stopgap proposal would avoid sparking partisan contention by continuing administration border activities, marking a temporary Democratic concession, according to a Politico report.

Senate Republicans have signaled they would back the short-term measure, provided it gains White House support, according to the report.

The House expects to vote Thursday followed by a Senate vote next week in order to fund the government by the Sept. 30 deadline.

The latest budget stalemate comes despite the bipartisan two-year $2.7 trillion budget agreement in July which established limits for fiscal 2020 defense and non-military spending.

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