Congress Approves Short-Term Spending Bill
On Friday, September 8, Congress approved a package that included a three-month continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends on September 30, putting an abrupt end to what was expected to be a contentious debate throughout the month of September.
Negotiated by the President, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the package deal was signed by the President immediately after it was approved by Congress. Among other things, the deal includes:
- Continued government funding until Friday, December 8 with an across-the-board cut of .6791 percent
- Extension of the debt limit until Friday, December 8
- $15.25 billion disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey
- Extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until Friday, December 8
The House also began work on an eight-bill omnibus package last week, including the FY 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill. It is expected to finish work this week on the omnibus, which will serve as the foundation for negotiations with the Senate when considering a final spending package for the fiscal year.
Congress still needs to come to an agreement on overall spending levels for the year; neither the House nor the Senate have approved budget resolutions, but both chambers wrote appropriations bills based on extremely different spending levels. The House and the Senate both propose an increase in spending, so an agreement will need to be reached on an overall funding level and, presumably, to raise the funding cap for the fiscal year.