On Monday afternoon, the Senate voted to advance a Continuing Resolution (CR) to end the three-day federal government shutdown and extend funding for government programs at Fiscal Year 2017 levels through February 8. The stalemate that led to the shutdown ended after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave Democrats assurances that the Senate will vote on a standalone immigration bill should no comprehensive budget and immigration deal emerge by February 8. Despite the short-term nature of this agreement, it is still hoped that negotiators will agree to a final budget deal enabling an FY 2018 omnibus appropriations bill that increases federal funding for both defense and non-defense research and higher education activities.
The Senate voted 81-18 to end the filibuster of H.R. 195, paving the way for resumption of normal government operations after a final Senate vote, House passage, and Presidential signature, all of which are expected later today or early tomorrow. The CR extension is designed to give Congressional leaders additional time to negotiate a bipartisan immigration and budget agreement to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and lift funding caps on defense and non-defense discretionary spending to enable completion of final FY 2018 appropriations. The CR was overwhelmingly supported in the Senate with 2 Republicans and 16 Democrats opposing the motion to invoke cloture. In addition to funding government programs, the bill also extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years and further delays implementation of three Affordable Care Act taxes. Additional provisions from the previous CR that funded the government through January 19 would remain in effect.
- As of the writing of this update, the text of the new CR was not yet available. Apart from the end date of February 8, the bill is reportedly identical to the one that passed the House on Friday. That version can be found at https://rules.house.gov/bill/115/hr-195-sa.