Few Days Remain for Congress to Pass a 2016 Budget

Photo courtesy of KP Tripathi 

Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill today from an August recess with just 10 legislative days between now and the end of the fiscal year. This leaves very little time to pass a proper budget for fiscal year 2016, which begins on October 1.

News outlets are reporting that Congress will likely pass a short-term continuing resolution in order to avoid a government shutdown on October 1. The continuing resolution is expected to fund the government for just a couple of months until lawmakers can hammer out a long-term budget deal for the remainder of the year.

And while this sounds like business as usual (we reported on this multiple times last year), it’s not. You can find out here how the federal budget process is supposed to work. As Americans, we should be outraged at Congress not passing a real budget for 2016. We are the people who pay the federal government’s bills, and we should have a say in how that money is spent. But, unfortunately, continuing resolutions remove all opportunity for constituent input – which means our voices aren’t being heard.

Congress returns today with a lot on the agenda. Among many other priorities, they need to:

  • Pass a budget for fiscal year 2016;
  • Deal with the debt ceiling;
  • Ensure the highway trust fund has enough funding to continue funding roads and bridges;
  • Create jobs;
  • Deal with growing income inequality; and
  • Pass sensible tax policy.

Can lawmakers beat their do-nothing rap and get some work done? Let’s hope so.