Policy Pulse: Congress Passes Stop-Gap Government Funding Bill

U.S. Capitol dome
When Outdoor America went to press, the Congress had adjourned for the campaign season without passing a budget to fund the federal government for the next fiscal year. Instead, it passed a stop-gap measure to fund agencies and programs at current funding levels through December 9. When Congress reconvenes after the election, will it approve a detailed budget for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017 or simply adopt another short-term measure to fund the federal government through early 2017? That outcome may be influenced by the national elections.

Although Congress did not complete one of its most fundamental functions this fall, the temporary bill is not as damaging as such measures have been in the past. For example, the bill does not include policy provisions that prevent federal agencies — particularly those charged with protecting our environment and managing public lands — from doing their jobs. That’s not to say that we won’t see such provisions surface when Congress returns, including one that bars the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from restoring Clean Water Act protections to many streams, wetlands, and other waters.

The League will continue to follow budget discussions that affect our conservation and outdoor recreation priorities. Your voice may be needed. Stay in the loop through League electronic communications.