The House Appropriations Committee released on December 13 the details on a stopgap funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), which would fund the government at FY17 levels through January 19. The CR would give lawmakers more time to negotiate a budget deal to lift statutorily required caps on defense and nondefense discretionary spending. Congress needs to pass the CR by December 22 to avoid a government shutdown.
The House CR would fund the Department of Defense for the remainder of FY18 and would extend funding for several programs, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). As introduced, the bill does not include any disaster relief for areas impacted by this year’s hurricanes and wildfires, which could lead to some Republicans voting against the bill. It is still possible that lawmakers may attach a new disaster aid package.
The House will vote on the stopgap funding bill early this week, with the Senate voting soon after. The Senate will most likely remove the funding for defense programs to get the bipartisan support the chamber needs to pass the CR and send back a new version that funds all 12 regular appropriations bills. Democrats oppose attaching the defense spending bill to the CR since doing so would violate the statutorily required limits on defense funding while putting nondefense funding on autopilot.
Members of Congress are still in the process of negotiating a budget deal to lift the spending caps on discretionary spending, with Democrats demanding parity between defense and nondefense spending. Once a deal has been struck, the Appropriations Committees will be able to rewrite the spending bills at the increased cap levels, and will likely package them into an omnibus bill. NLIHC urges advocate to contact your members of Congress and demand that federal affordable housing programs receive their fair share of any additional funds provided in the final spending deal.