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Government Could Shut Down Again Thursday

With the current stopgap spending bill expiring in two days, Congress is scrambling to avoid another government shutdown. The House will vote today on another short-term continuing resolution that would fund the government until Thursday, March 22.

Lawmakers continue to negotiate on a budget for the 2018 fiscal year, but disagreements exist regarding proposed increases in defense, non-defense, and infrastructure spending. Other budget disputes involve funding for Dreamers/Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), hurricane and wildfire emergencies, and community health centers. No agreements have been reached on such matters.

Meanwhile, the White House wants anomalies (i.e., additional funding) included in the new continuing resolution to help the Internal Revenue Service implement the recently passed tax reform. The White House may also consider language to postpone the debt limit since the Treasury Department could soon lack the ability to borrow money to keep the government open. Last week, the Congressional Budget Office said that due to the latest tax cuts, the government might reach its debt limit faster than expected.

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