Taking its cue from President-elect Donald Trump, the Republican-controlled House said Thursday that it will move forward with a bill to fund the government through March instead of pursuing a measure to fund it through the fiscal year.
The decision to do a short-term bill was announced after a closed-door meeting Thursday between House Republican leaders and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
A short-term continuing resolution would enable the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled House and Senate to begin making changes to spending early next year.
“I think the new incoming government would like to have a say so on how spending is allocated in 2017,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Thursday. “We’re going to do just that because I think we’ve got a lot of priorities that we would like to see changed relative to the Obama funding priorities. It’s just that simple.”
House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said his staff will begin crafting a short-term bill that would avert a partial government shutdown when the current stopgap funding measure expires Dec. 9 and keep the government flush with cash through March 31.
“The bottom line is that we must fulfill our constitutional duty to responsibly fund the federal government, and do right by the taxpayers who have elected us,” said Rogers, who preferred a measure to fund the government through the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. “While I’m disappointed that the Congress is not going to be able to complete our annual funding work this year, I am extremely hopeful that the new Congress and the new Administration will finish these bills.”