Today, the House Rules Committee met to consider H.R. 1370, the legislative vehicle being used by House Republican leadership to advance their planned measure to fund federal agencies, and to avert a lapse in appropriations this Friday at midnight (H.J. Res. 124). The measure would fund the Department of Defense for the rest of Fiscal Year 2018 at higher levels than what current law allows (the Budget Control Act) while keeping all other federal agencies on a short-term spending plan at current funding levels that runs through January 19, 2018. The bill would also provide $81 billion in disaster assistance. The Rules Committee postponed action on this measure this evening, and plans to meet again Wednesday morning. It is not yet known if the measure can pass on the House floor, and it faces widespread opposition in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY-R) announced his priorities for a stopgap spending package today, including renewed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, an extension of expiring Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act authorities, funding for a veterans’ health program, disaster aid for hurricane and wildfire victims, and the bipartisan Alexander-Murry measure to address Affordable Care Act-related health insurance markets and premiums. Congressional Democrats continue the push for parity in terms of increasing overall defense and non-defense spending levels (the so-called spending caps under the Budget Control Act).
In the meantime, NTEU is working with Members of the House and Senate to re-introduce legislation that would ensure that federal employees are paid-both those furloughed and those who remain on the job- in the event of a government shutdown this Friday night. It is unfair to federal employees, and the American public, that elected officials have once again brought us to the brink of a potential shutdown.
I will continue to keep you updated on Congress’ and the Administration’s efforts to fund the federal government past Friday.
For more information, and to see what you can do, please visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center.