Congress Avoids Another Shutdown, For Now

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By on December 21, 2017 in Current Events with 0 Comments

close up of politician's shoe kicking a dented shiny can down the road

Congress has passed yet another temporary funding measure to avoid a partial shutdown that was set to take place starting at midnight on Friday night. It’s the third stopgap funding bill passed since October 1.

The House and Senate passed the measure late today. It funds the government through January 19. The House first passed the measure with a 231-188 vote, and the Senate followed suit just over two hours later passing it with a 66-32 vote. President Trump signed it on Friday.

Besides continuing funding the government for another month, the measure also includes:

  • An additional $4.7 billion for emergency Defense needs, including ship repair and missile defense;
  • A temporary extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to ensure States have the flexibility to administer the program until March 31, 2018;
  • An extension of the existing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for the duration of the CR;
  • A temporary extension of the National Flood Insurance program for the duration of the CR;
  • An additional $2.1 billion for the Veterans Choice Act funding to cover the upcoming shortfalls in the program; and
  • A delay of automatic (sequestration) cuts in both defense and non-defense funding for the duration of the CR.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) said in a statement about the resolution:

The resolution will also allow time for Republican and Democratic Leaders to come to a longer-term budget agreement on top-line government funding levels for the 2018 fiscal year. Once this agreement is reached, the Appropriations Committee will continue negotiations with the Senate in order to enact all 12 regular Appropriations bills to ensure essential funding for federal programs and services, including national defense. It is critical that Congress complete this Constitutionally-mandated budgetary work as quickly as possible.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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