Lawmakers have a little time left to pass a continuing resolution.
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association President Ken Thomas sent a letter to the majority and minority leaders of both Congressional chambers on Tuesday imploring them to be deliberate about preventing a government shutdown by passing the continuous resolution for the next fiscal year while there’s still time.
A piece of short-term funding legislation was already passed by the House. Thomas’ letter was penned a day after the Senate failed to advance a CR to back agencies through early December, due to disagreements regarding the nation’s borrowing limit, debt ceiling and more. Unless Congress acts, the government would shut down on Oct. 1—but the Senate could vote again on a measure as soon as Wednesday.
In the one-page note, Thomas wrote that shutdowns are a result of Congress failing to accomplish its most basic responsibility.
“They cause needless disruption of government operations, as hundreds of thousands of federal employees are prevented from serving the American people,” he wrote. “Even now, as we approach the end of the fiscal year, federal agencies must waste time preparing for a possible shutdown to prevent a lapse in appropriations. As a result, Americans, as citizens and taxpayers who rely on federal services, lose.”
Thomas asked the Congressional leaders to pass the resolution—and full-year appropriations legislation—as soon as possible.
So far, the “lawmakers have not provided a formal response to the letter,” NARFE’s Communications and Marketing Director Jenn Rafael told Nextgov on Wednesday morning.
Still, she added that according to the organization's policy and programs staff, it appears that Senate leadership intends to bring up “a less controversial continuing resolution, one without a debt limit extension that Republicans have opposed, for a vote as soon as possible.” NARFE’s team expects both the Senate and House to pass that legislation, barring any additional unforeseen circumstances.
“After that, Congress must still find a way to pass the debt limit extension to prevent a default that could occur as soon as Oct. 18,” Rafael said.