This Week on the Hill: Government Funding Talks Enter Crucial Stretch

Both chambers of Congress will reconvene for legislative business this afternoon while government funding talks off the floor continue. With less than two weeks left to avert a funding lapse, House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) are expected to meet today to continue negotiations on another continuing resolution (CR), as well as broader spending allocations for each one of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills. While “poison pill” issues —namely border security — have largely stymied FY 2020 funding talks, lawmakers have coalesced around another stopgap measure that would fund the government through Dec. 13 or Dec. 20 in hopes of providing appropriators with more time to hammer out a deal.

On the floor, House lawmakers begin their week with consideration of nine suspension bills out of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. This includes a bill that would require the VA Secretary to develop a plan to help manage risks and improve health care for veterans, as well as legislation aimed at addressing recovery of overpayments at the VA. Meanwhile, the Senate will resume consideration of presidential nominations, starting with Chad Wolf’s nomination to be Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans at the Department of Homeland Security.