WASHINGTON — The third-ranking House Appropriations Committee Democrat says Congress and the White House are “careening” toward another government shutdown, adding a GOP-proposed defense spending plan is partly to blame.
Since President Barack Obama took office and Republicans captured control of the House, impasses over government spending, deficit reduction, government borrowing and healthcare reform have led Washington to flirt with agency and department shutdowns. In the fall of 2013, the federal government was shuttered for 16 days.
“While not a mirror image of two years ago,” House Appropriations Defense subcommittee Ranking Member Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., warned Tuesday, “the FY-2016 process is careening towards a similar fate.”
Central to what could be a major fight and another shutdown in late September is a proposed $88 billion overseas contingency operations (OCO) account. GOP leaders in both chambers inflated the administration’s $50.9 billion war-fund request to appease Republican defense hawks who say the military is short on funding.
But the White House and congressional Democrats object, saying the move is a budget “gimmick.” They also want more domestic spending in return.