Capitol Hill Reconciliation Discussions Continue, Congress Working to Prevent Government Shutdown
The House and Senate reconvened this week as both chambers work to iron out spending and policy differences on the reconciliation bill and on a short-term spending measure to avert a government shutdown on October 1st.
Although the House took further steps on reconciliation last week with key committee markups, further attempts to advance the legislation have stalled as Majority Democrats in both the House and Senate remain at odds over the price tag and scope of the overall package.
Discussions among House and Senate Democrats will continue into this weekend in hopes of reaching an agreement on the reconciliation package, as well as on how to advance the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill through the House and onto President Biden for signature.
Given the potential funding for clean water in the reconciliation package, as well as the funding and policy provisions provided included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, NACWA strongly encourages members to continue advocating to their respective Members of Congress the positive impact these investments can have on their utility and community.
As far as government funding, on Tuesday the House passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the federal government for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), which begins on October 1, until December 3, 2021, and suspends the debt limit until December 2022, well after the mid-term elections.
The already politically contentious issue of funding the federal government has become even more complicated this time as Congress needs to vote to increase or suspend the debt limit by no later than late October to prevent government default. Given strong opposition by Senate Republicans to the House’s legislative approach, the path on how to temporarily fund the government through a CR and deal with the approaching debt limit is unclear. Congressional Leaders have until midnight next Thursday to reach a deal before a government shutdown occurs.
In the meantime, in addition to advocating for important clean water funding in the reconciliation bill and bipartisan infrastructure package, NACWA is continuing to work with appropriators in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the highest level of funding for clean water is provided in any final FY22 appropriations package later this year.