With only minutes to spare before a government shutdown, on December 9 the Senate passed the House-approved “continuing resolution” (CR) extending funding for federal agencies from December 10, 2016 through April 28, 2017. The Senate vote on the CR (R 2028) was 63-36. President Barack Obama signed the CR into law over the weekend. In related news, the president will sign the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 34) at a ceremony at the White House tomorrow. The Senate approved the 21st Century Cures bill on December 7 by a 94-5 vote. As previously reported, Congressional Republicans opted to punt the annual spending bills into next year to wait until President-elect Donald Trump assumes office. With control of both the White House and Congress, Republicans will have more sway over how roughly $1 trillion is spent on federal agencies and programs. The bill intends to buy Congress more time to negotiate the fiscal year 2017 spending bills, because the Senate is expected to be consumed by the confirmation process for Trump administration nominees in the first quarter of next year. When Congress resumes in January, ASPET advocacy messaging will be to ensure that a spending bill is ultimately passed in April, rather than lawmakers deciding to simply run out the clock with additional stop gap measures.
Last updated: December 15, 2016