If you feel like the government has been on the brink of a shutdown since 2013, you're right! The government has not had a long-term spending and taxation bill since they averted the fiscal cliff, and tonight at midnight, the government is set to run out of money. Predictably, the House plans to pass a small funding bill (known as a stop-gap bill) that will keep the lights on until December 22nd.
But this time is different! Congress is nearing the end of negotiations on the biggest and broadest tax and spending bill since the fiscal cliff debacle of 2013.
So what does this 1.1 trillion dollar budget deal mean for you? Regardless of your political party, you're probably happy, but not completely satisfied. As both Speaker Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Minority Leader Reid (D-NV) have said, in a democracy, no one gets exactly what they want, but this deal is as good as any.
If you're a hardline conservative Republican, you're probably upset because this bill doesn't contain any language to stop Syrian and Iraqi refugees from coming into the country. If you're a liberal democrat, you're maybe upset because the bill will end a 40-year ban on exporting US oil. The bill suspends certain taxes in the Affordable Care Act, including the Cadillac tax, but it also reauthorizes the Zadroga Act, which helps provide healthcare to 9/11 First Responders
There's nothing in the bill that will defund Planned Parenthood, or repeal Obamacare, and the President has voiced his support for the bill. Despite opposition from the more conservative members of the House, who could refuse to support the bill because it doesn't staunch the flow of refugees, the bill is expected to pass the house. Even though Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) has spoken out in opposition to certain parts of the bill, House Democrats are expected to support it
Once the bill passes, the government will be funded through September of 2016, giving both parties time to focus on actually passing legislation that will actually help Americans. Or, more likely, focusing their energies on the upcoming presidential election, which is still a long 11 months away.