While putting a relief package aside, both sides, through the chief negotiators of Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have agreed there will not be a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends of September 30, 2020.

Pelosi and Mnuchin have said they would agree to a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) that would include funding budgets across the board until a yet undetermined date after the election. Despite the agreement, they must still make some critical decisions. No CR is truly clean since some adjustments need to be made for the short term as some funding expires, and other funding requires annual adjustments; this is generally referred to as budget “anomalies.” They must also decide on a date. A late December CR that would expire before Christmas would place the next budget decisions on a lame-duck Congress and a President at the end of his term or the start of his next. It could also mean a lame duck Congress in which one or both houses could have a change in majority party rule. Some Democrats want a CR that runs into 2021. There is also the possibility other items could be attached. The transportation trust fund is running low (like a number of other trust funds, including Social Security and Medicare), so Congress could extend transportation by a year if all sides agree.

The House passed 10 of 12 appropriations, but the Senate has not acted on their legislation beyond the defense budget. A CR would simply maintain current funding levels across the board for the next few months.