Short Term CR Introduced to Keep Government Open 5 More Days

Short Term CR Introduced to Keep Government Open 5 More Days

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) today introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government operating for 5 more days past the Friday deadline when the current CR expires.  The hope is that work can be completed on a bill that will fund it for the rest of FY2016 by early next week.

FY2016 began on October 1 and Congress should have passed 12 regular appropriations bills by then to pay for defense and non-defense discretionary federal government activities including DOD, NASA and NOAA.  None of those bills cleared Congress and a CR was enacted instead to keep agencies operating at FY2015 levels until agreement could be reached.  That CR expires on Friday, December 11.

A budget deal reached at the end of October between the White House and Congress cleared the way for agreement on spending levels, but policy provisions — “riders” — continue to hold up final action.   It is expected that all 12 bills will be combined into a single consolidated or “omnibus” appropriations bill that provides funding through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2016.

The decision to introduce another short-term CR can be viewed as good news in the sense that it indicates all sides may be close to an agreement if given just a few more days, though critics would argue that sufficient time has passed that they should have been able to get the job done by Friday.

The bill, H.J. Res. 75, would fund government operations at their current level though Wednesday, December 16.  Rogers said in a statement that it is his “hope and expectation that a final, full-year bill will be enacted before this new deadline.”

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