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Congress is responsible for passing annual appropriations to fund government agencies. If Congress neglects to pass funding bills, government agencies are forced to shut down. Follow all of Federal News Radio's government shutdown coverage from the past several years.
Analysis: House, Senate will 'thrash it out,' before agreement
Friday - 9/23/2011, 10:08am EDT
The House has passed a continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown next week. But in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid says the bill is dead on arrival because of deep cuts to energy programs favored by Democrats.
There are plans for lawmakers to work through the weekend if they can't some to an agreement. The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30th, which has many feds nervous about their agency's budgets.
Bill Frenzel was a congressman for 20 years and is now a global scholar of economics at Brookings Institution. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris to discuss perspective on what's happening on the Hill, and whether the government is facing a shutdown.
Frenzel acknowledged that feds are facing yet another nail-biter. "But we always have this situation at the end of the fiscal year," he added. "Or at least we've become used to it in the last several years with the House and the Senate going down to the last day or two before the fiscal year ends."
Despite the heavy rhetoric on both sides of the aisle, the House and the Senate "will thrash it out," Frenzel predicted, "and as usual come to some kind of an agreement."
Frenzel laid the current Congressional gridlock at the feet of a "difficult form of government" in the U.S. in which "everyone has a veto," he said, as well as a highly polarized electorate and Congress.
"It makes moving ahead extremely difficult," he added.
This story is part of Federal News Radio's Congressional Spotlight sponsored by United Technologies Corporation. Click here for more stories on Congress.