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Government faces possible September 30 shutdown; continuing resolution likely

Sen. Mark Warner said a federal government shutdown is unlikely. He predicts lawmakers will OK a temporary continuing resolution.

WASHINGTON — The federal government is set to run out of money in just over three weeks on September 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Lawmakers now have to race to avoid a government shutdown. However, there seems to be zero chance that Congress could pass 12 appropriations bills in both chambers by then.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) is optimistic that a shutdown will be avoided, and that lawmakers will instead pass a stop-gap continuing resolution to keep the government open.

But he told 13New Now on Thursday that the constant threat of shutdowns is "abusive."

Warner added: "Nothing is more stupid than the lack of discipline about providing a budget in a timely fashion. There's no region in the Commonwealth and probably our country that is more dependent upon the federal government than Hampton Roads."

Continuing resolutions mean that all federal spending is frozen at the prior year's levels, which is a big problem for the military and defense contractors. The Defense Department has started 12 of the last 13 years operating under a continuing resolution.

Defense officials have stated publicly that delays in knowing when and how much funding will ultimately be available for the fiscal year hampers the military services' ability to accomplish key mission requirements.

Said Warner: "It's insane."

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