May 16, Progressive Party with Sen. Schumer Get tickets

Why a Piecemeal Approach to Funding the Government Doesn’t Make Sense

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With the government shutdown now stretching into its second week, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has turned to a novel—and ultimately futile—approach for funding the government. Instead of passing a handful of large appropriations bills, as would be done under normal circumstances, or one combined package, as often happens when time is short, the House leadership has been passing very small, targeted appropriations for only a select group of government functions. This approach appears to have political advantages, as supporters can try to alleviate the most noticeable pain of the shutdown. But it is a fundamentally unworkable method for reopening the government. And just one number shows why.

79. That’s how many different appropriations bills the House and Senate would have to pass to fund the full nondefense portion of the federal government, given the rate of funding in the bills passed or announced in the House of Representatives so far.

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