The U.S. House of Representatives approved a six-month stop-gap measure to fund the federal government through the first half of the next fiscal year, but some proponents of D.C. budget autonomy are disappointed by the details. Meanwhile, a federal judge is blocking enforcement of a law Congress passed earlier this year.
David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, talks with WAMU Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey about highlights from the week in Congress.
Why the continuing resolution moved so quickly when so many other pieces of legislation are stalled in Congress: "This is the one if they don't do it will threaten the government shutdown. Congressional members of both parties decided, after last year's running that clock down to near zero, that they don't want to do that again right before an election," says Hawkings. "It would be terrible politics, and everyone knows it. This is a classic kicking of the can six months … for now they want to get this one over with and go home and campaign."
On a proposal that a provision allowing D.C. budget autonomy be included in the bill: "It isn't going to happen," Hawkings says. "The ease with which this bill is getting through is only because they made one very simple decision, which is to make a tiny increase in funding, which they agreed to last summer as part of the debt avoidance deal, and essentially have almost no other policy riders or extraneous budget provisions."
What's next for financial disclosures in the STOCK Act after a federal judge ruled that executive branch employees aren't subject to it: "The judge only stopped enforcement of it for the 30,000 people in the executive brangch. People who work in Congress and the members of Congress themselves still have to start filling out these disclosure forms right away," Hawkings says. "The judge has decided the federal executive branch employees have more privacy rights really than Congressional employees and that this might not be constitutional to apply to them."
On whether Congress will intervene after the judge's ruling: "There's been some preliminary talk about changing it, but as with so many other things it's off until after the election at least and probably next year," Hawkings says.