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Maine's Congressional Delegation Warns Of Budget Deadline

Funding for most federal agencies runs out next week, and there are concerns on Capitol Hill that President Donald Trump will not support the spending bills being negotiated between the House and Senate.

Since Oct. 1, the federal government has been operating on a continuing resolution, and Congress has not completed work on a dozen spending bills. Some include provisions that President Trump doesn’t support, and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District, a Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, is worried he may veto some measures, and increase the risk of shutting down most federal agencies.

“Congress I know would agree to another continuing resolution, but the worst possible thing that could happen is that the president says, ‘I am not agreeing to that,’ and shuts down the government, creating more chaos,” she says. “There is a desire to come to an agreement, but whether or not Congress can is always the big question. But we will definitely get through Dec. 11 and move something into next year if we can’t pass the budget.”

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee shares that concern, but says there is bipartisan support for another continuing resolution to make sure government operations continue until after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

“The only thing worse however than a continuing resolution is a government shutdown. And my No. 1 priority when it comes to the appropriations bills is to prevent a government shutdown,” she says.