Did you notice anything different this morning? No? Good.
That's because the federal government is still up and running, at least through Dec. 11.
Yesterday, Sept. 30, the end of the 2015 fiscal year, Congress agreed on a stopgap funding bill to keep Uncle Sam operating into the first quarter of the 2016 fiscal year.
The House voted 277-151 in favor of the continuing resolution, which the Senate had passed earlier in the day by a 78-20 vote. The president signed the bill into law before the federal government ran out of money at midnight.
That's the good news.
Much more left to do: The bad news is that this action was just one of four must-do tasks Congress faces in the coming weeks and months. And it didn't actually complete the fiscal year 2016 funding job, just pushed it closer to the end of the calendar year.
In addition to meeting the new Dec. 11 fiscal funding deadline, Representatives and Senators also still must:
- come up with money by Oct. 29 to keep the Highway Trust Fund fueled,
- agree to a debt ceiling increase by mid-Fall so that Uncle Sam can pay his already run-up bills, and
- renew the temporary tax breaks known as extenders that expired on Jan. 1.
The worse news is that the new Dec. 11 end-of-government-funding date means that December will, once again, be crazy in Washington, D.C.
So what else is new? Sigh.