News & Press: General News

Federal Budget/Appropriations Update

Friday, September 30, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Blake Goodman
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This week the House and Senate passed a stop-gap continuing resolution (CR) that will postpone final action on most fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriations bills until after the November election. The president will sign the bill today or tomorrow, averting a federal government shutdown.

The CR level-funds most federal programs through December 9th, provides $1.1 billion in supplemental funding for response to the Zika virus, and includes $500 million in supplemental flood relief for Louisiana and other parts of the country. The CR also includes the fully-conferenced FY 2017 Military Construction and Veterans (MilCon-VA) appropriations bill (one of 12).

Congress is now leaving Washington for the election and will reconvene for a post-election lame duck session in hopes of finishing work on the funding bills by the end of the calendar year.  Agencies with increases pending in the FY 2017 appropriations bills, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense, are hoping for final action on appropriations bills before the end of the calendar year.

If Congress and the Administration can’t finalize funding bills by the end of the calendar year and have to pass another stop-gap measure into the first few months of the following year, it creates uncertainty and increases the risk of a full-year CR, which would flat-fund these agencies at their existing FY 2016 level and dash hopes for a boost in spending.