CR, or Worse, Remains Distinct Possibility for Pentagon
A final defense spending bill for fiscal 2019 is tantalizingly close, with House and Senate lawmakers expected to go conference shortly on the two-bill package the Senate passed last month, yet the probability that DOD avoids the need to operate under a continuing resolution (CR) after Oct. 1 is only 50-50, according to Washington insiders. Hampering the chances for Congress to complete and approve a conference report for the defense and labor-HHS-education appropriations ‘minibus’ is the lack of time on the congressional calendar before the end of the month, reports CQ. House and Senate negotiators appear poised to hash out a compromise defense bill quickly despite a number of differences in spending allocations, but reaching a deal over the labor-HHS-education title will be more challenging, especially since the House never cleared its own version of that measure.
The prospect for the military construction-VA spending title to become law before the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year is brighter, with lawmakers appearing very close to approving a conference agreement for a three-bill spending package made up of the milcon, energy-water, and legislative branch titles.