Congress Set to Extend Federal Funding Through December 20, Punting Government Shutdown
Congress is set to approve a stopgap funding measure this week that will fund the Federal government through December 20, 2019, averting a government shutdown. The Federal government is currently functioning under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that went into effect October 1, extending Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 funding levels until November 21. The CR is the result of a stalled FY 2020 appropriations process where Members of Congress are unable to reach agreement on whether or not to fund controversial programs. While many appropriations bills have already passed out of Committee, there are a few major political battles stalling the process, including President Trump’s demands for more border wall funding.
The short-term spending bill expected to pass this week will fund the government from November 22 through December 20. Members of Congress are gearing up for continued discussions that will lead right up to the winter holidays. Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have indicated that they both hope to pass FY 2020 appropriations this year. Democratic House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Republican Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby previously discussed extending the deadline into January or beyond to take Congress through the holidays, but Congressional leaders decided upon a shorter measure in order to keep the pressure on Congress to pass full-year appropriations bills.
ASME will continue to monitor and report on the status of Federal appropriations.