As we get closer to the December 8 expiration of the current FY 2018 funding, it is becoming more and more likely a final deal will not be struck. Some are now suggesting the Congress may attempt another CR that would extend funding until December 15 to give the parties time to negotiate what they have not negotiated to this point. There are also some suggestions that Congress could attempt a longer term second CR that would run into next February.
Negotiations are frozen until the leadership reaches a deal on current budget caps. The 12 appropriations subcommittees need spending allocations if there is a new agreement on spending caps. If Congress does not raise the caps in a deal that must be signed by the President, and Congress attempts to increase spending (especially for defense), the automatic across the board budget cuts will take place in January. Since the big proposed spending increases have come on the defense side, the cuts would mostly hit that budget.
To get to a deal on budget caps and spending Congressional Republicans need the help of Democrats to pass a budget deal in the Senate. Democrats are certain to demand items (DACA?) as part of a final agreement. As Congress continues to not make progress on a series of items that list could get very long.