House Speaker John Boehner said Congress will soon have to pass a stopgap spending bill known as a continuing resolution in order to avoid a government shutdown by the end of the fiscal year. The vote would come after the August recess, he said.
"It's pretty clear, based on how many days we are going to be here in September, we're going to have to do a CR of some sort," Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters on Thursday. "But no decision has been made about that. We'l deal with that when we get back."
Boehner blamed Democrats for the spending stalemate, pointing out that in the Senate, Democrats have vowed to block every spending measure because they adhere to spending caps required under the 2012 Budget Control Act.
The House has passed six spending bills but has pulled the remaining half-dozen measures, in part because of opposition to the spending caps among both Democrats and Republicans. Democrats in particular are angry that Republicans have found a way around cuts to the Defense Department, by increasing overseas war operations funding, but have done nothing to find a workaround for other federal departments.
House Democrats are also threatening to amend the House spending bills with provisions that would ban the display of the Confederate flag on federal land.
The impasse has halted work on spending bills in both chambers, even though the Sept. 30 conclusion of the fiscal year is approaching. The House and Senate will adjourn in August, which means there will be only a handful of legislative days in September to pass a measure to keep the government open.