Congress has a couple of big issues before them, but it’s not known if they will be resolved before federal lawmakers recess at the end of the week. Among the deadlines looming before the holiday break that starts at the end of the week is for a special budget committee charged with the task of creating a compromise to avoid another government shutdown. The other is the still-unfinished farm bill.
Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI) is optimistic the special budget committee, which includes co-chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) from Wisconsin and Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) will agree on a plan by Friday. If the committee fails to come to an agreement, Duffy says he and several other members of Congress do not plan to let government shut down again. “I think there’s a good possibility we’ll get a budget deal before the end of this week, but if we don’t, I think there’s a lot of us in the House that don’t want to see the government shut down. I’m one of them, and we will pass then a short to mid-term funding bill that funds the government at sequester levels, because we don’t want to see the government shut down. We want to see the government function. We want to see it work. We want to see it do its job.”
The Farm Bill has been delayed several times, and Duffy says it may not get done before the new year. “Again, I’m hopeful that we’ll find a compromise and agreement coming out of the conference between both of those chambers, and Republicans and Democrats, but time is running out this year, so if it doesn’t finish by the end of this week, we’re going to have to look into next year to make that happen.”
Republicans separated the farm programs from the food stamp assistance programs and passed two separate packages in the House of Representatives. The Democrat-controlled Senate rejected the House proposals, and the whole farm bill is currently in conference committee.
Larry Lee, WSAU