Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Congress Nears Plan to Fund Government through the Election

Congressional leadership last night announced an agreement to fund the government through the November election. The plan goes with just days to spare as fiscal year deadline looms at the end of the month.

The tentative deal on a continuing resolution would fund the government until December 9, setting up this Congress to once again come to a spending agreement before a new Congress takes charge next year.

Negotiations between House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi led to an agreement to tack on an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act authorizing $170 million in aid for the Flint water crisis. Funding for the on-going water safety crisis in Michigan has been a top priority for Pelosi and Democrats, one which they said was a key component of any deal to fund the government. The House is expected to pass the water bill as soon as today.

Much remains in the air, including ultimate passage of the Flint funding as well as Democratic requests for more Zika funding and how spending is offset, though both sides maintain they are resolute in funding the government before the deadline. "We're not shutting the government down," Pelosi told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

An adjournment resolution in the amendment schedules Congress to leave a day earlier than the original calendar, finishing up the last legislative business on Thursday before returning to their districts until after the election. Congress will resume session on November 11, after the election has taken place but before new Members of Congress are sworn in, for a so-called “lame duck” session.

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