National News: Stop-Gap Bill Funds Government Until End of April

West Front of U.S. Capitol

In December, Congress passed legislation to fund the federal government through April 28, 2017. Under this legislation, most federal agencies will operate with funding essentially equal to Fiscal Year 2016 amounts.

This legislation also provides emergency funding ($170 million) to begin addressing the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, and about $4 billion in assistance to states and localities to recover from natural disasters as well as additional funding for national defense and international military operations. Importantly, it does not include damaging policy provisions that would undermine conservation and environmental protection, including the Clean Water Rule.

Before this legislation (known as a continuing resolution) expires, Congress and the new administration will have several options to resolve funding issues for the balance of Fiscal Year 2017 (which ends September 30). Congress could pass budget bills with substantially higher or lower funding for departments and programs than proposed by the previous administration. Another option is to pass a continuing resolution for the balance of the year, providing funding at levels roughly equal to current funding. Under this approach, any potentially significant changes in funding government-wide would be delayed until Fiscal Year 2018 as Congress considers the spending priorities of the new administration. These priorities would be articulated in the president’s budget request, expected in late winter or early spring 2017.