Congress Unlikely to Pass 2021 Budget on Time.


President Donald Trump released his 2021 budget request in February, nearly eight months before the start of the next fiscal year, and lawmakers have already agreed on a defense topline of $740.5 billion. Nevertheless, it's still unlikely that Congress will pass appropriations before Oct. 1, experts say.

They expect fiscal year 2021 to begin with a continuing resolution, which freezes funding at previous fiscal year levels and prevents new-start programs.

"Hypothetically, based on the fact that we have a budget deal ... there should be no CR," said Seamus Daniels, a defense budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "But as we saw last year [with] the border wall funding and other debates ... they delayed the issue."

Fiscal year 2020 began with two continuing resolutions lasting a total of 81 days, he noted during a press briefing. For 2021, the administration requested $2 billion for additional border wall construction.

Todd Harrison, another CSIS budget guru, said recent history doesn't yield optimism.

"There's no good reason this year" for lawmakers to fail to pass a budget on time, he said. "They already have a budget deal. They know where the top line is. They ought to be able to work through it. [But] I think odds are they probably push this until the lame duck session after the election and try to finish it up then."

Mark Cancian, senior adviser for the...

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