The current continuing resolution is set to run out just before Thanksgiving, which leaves lawmakers three-and-a-half work weeks in session to close in on an appropriations plan. The Senate this week will continue debating a spending package of four measures to fund the departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Justice.
If the Senate, which has yet to pass any of its spending bills, can advance this package it would accelerate the ongoing conference negotiations with the House. In order for a final agreement to arise, the two chambers will first have to agree on spending allocations, known as 302(b)s. Both parties agreed on an overall total for military funding and another topline for non-defense spending under the budget deal this summer, but House and Senate leaders are still debating how to break down that money among the dozen spending bills. As negotiations unfold, Enterprise encourages Congress to provide the highest possible funding levels for critical affordable housing and community development programs.