Capitol Edge: Could the government still shut down?

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – Speaker Paul Ryan’s first week in charge of the House of Representatives produced two major bills with bipartisan support.

Lawmakers passed a transportation funding bill that will insure the Highway Trust Fund has money for the next six years along with a massive defense spending bill.

“When we work across the aisle we can accomplish the hard work of legislating that the American people elected us to do,” Rep. John Langevin (D-RI) said.

Speaker Ryan differentiated himself from his predecessor by allowing members to debate amendments to the bill on the floor, which is part of his claim that he will return the House of Representatives back to “regular order.”

“This is how this is going be,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said. “We’re going to make this a more open process.”

Speaker Ryan also announced the House would only be in session for 111 days out of 2016, an election year.

House members will not be in session next week either, but you can expect critical budget negotiations to still be happening on Capitol Hill.

The two year budget deal signed by President Barack Obama on Monday does not totally avoid the possibility of a government shutdown on Dec. 11.

Congress still must pass specific spending bills to avoid a shutdown and it’s unclear if that will happen. Speaker Ryan told reporters earlier this week that he would not rule out shutting down the government.

The Senate will be in session next week.

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