Yesterday evening, House Republican leadership introduced a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), H.J. Res 195, to continue funding the federal government at FY17 levels until February 16, 2018. The current CR expires at midnight Friday, January 19. In addition to a month-long extension of agency funding, the bill also includes a six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and a two-year delay of the excise tax on employer-provided health plans (the so-called “Cadillac” tax established by the Affordable Care Act), including FEHBP plans, meaning the tax on these health plans would take effect in 2022 rather than 2020 as scheduled. NTEU supports a repeal or delay of this excise tax, as we are concerned that health insurers will simply pass on the cost to enrollees, or seek to limit coverage.
However, at this time there is still no agreement between Congress and the administration on defense and non-defense spending levels for FY18, as well as other policy issues that may be included in any budget deal, and it remains unclear whether the measure can garner enough votes to pass the House and Senate.
Legislation championed by NTEU to ensure that federal employees are paid in the event of a government shutdown was introduced last month in the House — H.R. 4694 — by Virginia Representatives Beyer (VA-8-D) and Wittman (VA-1-R), and the Senate — S. 2274 — by Senator Cardin (D-MD). NTEU worked closely with these offices and the many others who have cosponsored this important legislation for federal employees and their families.
As we yet again near a funding deadline, I will keep you updated on further developments.
For more information, and to see what you can do, please visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center.