This week, lawmakers were unable to reach agreement on the outstanding budget issues, pushing the lame duck session another week closer to Christmas. Optimism was high earlier in the week when some lawmakers predicted adjournment by the end of the week. However, by December 7 it was clear that another week would be needed in order to negotiate several sticking points.
As a result, Congress approved three separate continuing resolutions to fund government programs whose FY2001 appropriations bills have not been enacted. On December 5, the House approved H. J. Res. 126, which funded programs through December 7, by a vote of 378-6. The Senate approved the resolution the same day by a vote of 99-0. The second one-day resolution (H. J. Res. 127) was approved, 359-11, by the House on December 7. The same day, the Senate passed the resolution by a vote of 96-1.
On December 8, both chambers approved the third resolution (H. J. Res. 128), which will continue funding through December 11. In addition to wrangling over education funding, ergonomics standards, and immigration provisions, lawmakers are also uncertain about strategy. While some lawmakers supported a long-term continuing resolution that would fund government programs for the next 10 months, others wanted to finish the work of the 106th Congress before Christmas.