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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

2015 CR: Fiscal crisis delayed?

What a difference a year makes.

Last September, we were barreling headlong toward a government shutdown and perhaps a default.

Agencies closed and thousands were furloughed after Republicans and Democrats in Congress failed to reach an agreement as fiscal 2013 ended.

Guess what? The end of fiscal 2014 is less than two weeks away and the House and Senate have both passed continuing resolutions that fund the government through Dec. 11. That pushes any real fights over funding until after the midterm elections.

The news of passage barely made a blimp on the news cycle. For many it was a foregone conclusion given the budget deal that ended last year’s standoff. That deal set topline funding for fiscal 2014 and 2015.

It’s odd to me to feel that the continuing resolution is a victory of sorts but given the wounds of last year’s budget battle, it’s understandable.

So what did get passed? Discretionary spending remains capped at an annual rate of $1.012 trillion dollars. Funding will continue at fiscal 2014 levels.

This is a temporary fix, of course. The real battle will likely start soon after election day.

The tenor of the debate will likely be partisan and nasty, even though the topline number will remain at around $1 trillion; there is a lot to fight about under that number.

It’s interesting that the date is Dec. 11 and not sometime in January when the new Congress will take their seats.

It’ll make for an interesting lame duck session.

My money is on more brinkmanship. I doubt there will be a shutdown, but with the next election another two years out anything could happen.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Sep 19, 2014 at 9:23 AM

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