US Congress Week: GOP Tries To Avoid Self-Inflicted Shutdown: MNI

–Stop-Gap Bill Funding Most of Federal Government Expires Friday
–Hill Uncertain How Trump’s Tax Plan Will Alter Congressional Discussions
–House Financial Services Panel To Review Plan To Overhaul Dodd-Frank

WASHINGTON (MNI) – President Donald Trump and the Republican majority in Congress are trying to avoid an embarrassing stumble this week over funding the federal government.

The current stop-gap spending bill for the 2017 fiscal year which is funding most of the federal government expires Friday at midnight.

Only one of the 12 FY 2017 spending bills has been signed into law and the rest of the bills are expected to be combined into an omnibus spending package. The 2017 fiscal year began on Oct. 1, 2016 and ends on Sept. 30, 2017.

Congress’s leaders on the House and Senate Appropriations committees have been in talks for weeks on a final package.

Those talks were jolted last week by the Trump administration’s insistence that the final package include funds to begin building a wall along the southern border.

White House Budget director Mick Mulvaney repeated in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” that these funds are critical for the president.

Asked if Trump might veto a bill that does not include those funds, Mulvaney said “we don’t know yet.”

There has been some discussion among congressional leaders about the possibility of passing another stop-gap funding bill at the end of this week to give lawmakers more time to complete the package.

A number of issues have complicated the effort to complete the FY 2017 budget, including Trump’s request for $30 billion in additional defense spending for FY 2017 as well as $3 billion for early construction of the border wall.

It is unclear if a portion of Trump’s request may be included in the omnibus or whether the entire request will be considered in separate legislation.

House Republicans are expected to continue their discussions this week on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and to enact major tax reform.

Both Republicans and Democrats are eager to see the tax reform plan that Trump is set to unveil Wednesday.

In other action this week on Capitol Hill, the House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET on a House GOP plan to overhaul Dodd-Frank. A group of think tank analysts will testify on the bill.

A subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET on the 2017 tax filing system, focusing on the IRS’s efforts to provide services to taxpayers, combat identity theft, and collect taxes in the 2017 tax filing season.

The Senate Banking Committee is holding a hearing Thursday at 10 a.m. ET to assess the effect of sanctions that have been imposed on Russia.

Several subcommittees of the House and Senate appropriations committees are holding hearings on various government programs.

MONDAY, APRIL 24, 2017 – 11:37

–MNI Washington Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email: john.shaw@marketnews.com

Source: MNI

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