The House of Representatives on Wednesday decided to postpone consideration until next week of the short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through December 11.  House Republican leaders delayed the debate as a result of President Obama’s request that the House include $500 million in the continuing resolution for training Syrian rebels to deal with ISIS. It is expected that the CR debate and vote may occur as early as next Tuesday.

This morning House Republicans met to discuss the White House’s plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, and leadership is reported to be supportive of the plan overall.  However, one of the questions is what legislative vehicle will Congress use for the authorization.  It is being reported that House Republicans want to debate the authority to arm the rebels separately from the must-pass government funding bill.  The president has expressed his preference for lumping the two together.  Overall, it does appear to be a relatively broad collation of Republicans and Democrats that will support the funding request from the president.

The continuing resolution funds federal departments including the Agriculture Department and related agencies at fiscal year 2014 levels through December 11, but it also contains a few other provisions.  One provision would allow additional funds to offset food price increases in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program to ensure that no current recipients are removed from the program.  Another provision reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank through June 30, 2015.  Without the reauthorization, the bank’s charter would expire September 30.

The House delay may mean that the Senate will have less time to debate and take up the continuing resolution once the House has passed it.  The CR must be in place when fiscal 2015 begins on October 1 to avoid a government shutdown.  Congress will be in session Monday, instead of being off.  The House is scheduled to leave at the end of next week for a one-week break and return the first week of October. The Senate is scheduled to leave September 23.  It may be that, if the House passes the continuing resolution and the Senate takes it up, the House will cancel its early October session and not return until after the mid-term elections.