Continuing Resolution Expires at Midnight, Shutdown Likely

The continuing resolution currently keeping the federal government operating expires at midnight tonight. Late last night, Senate leaders introduced legislation setting a budget for fiscal 2018, which includes a continuing resolution to keep government programs funded through March 23. This bipartisan agreement would give appropriators time to write new appropriations bills for the remainder of fiscal 2018 that conform to the agreed to budget.

Senate leaders had hoped to move the bill quickly today by unanimous consent. However, at least one Senator has objected, forcing leadership to follow regular order, meaning a vote would likely have to wait until this weekend. Once the Senate approves the bill, it still must pass the House, which could be a challenge, with members on both sides of the aisle indicating they will oppose the bill for various reasons.

Unless the Senate can come to an agreement very soon, a federal shutdown of some duration will occur, likely at least through the weekend. Once again, FMCSA and PHMSA safety and inspection activities should not be impacted by the shutdown.