FY2017 Continuing Resolution Update

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the vehicle (HR 5325, the House-passed Legislative Branch appropriations bill) for the continuing resolution (CR). McConnell said that he expects the CR to fund the government through December 9 at last year’s enacted levels (with a potential across-the-board cut to comply with budget caps) and include funds for Zika control as well as the FY17 Military Construction Veterans Affairs spending bill. House and Senate leadership are meeting at the White House this afternoon to work out the details and discuss the path forward. Once the Senate clears the funding measure, they may adjourn to return home to campaign. This would put pressure on the House to accept the Senate-passed CR or risk a shutdown. This puts House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) in a difficult position as House Freedom Caucus members have been pushing for a CR into next year. Ryan is also advocating for smaller “mini-buses” in December with several regular spending bills packaged together. Whatever bills couldn’t get funded in a “mini-bus” would then be funded through a year-long CR. Republican appropriators and Democrats will likely oppose this strategy. A year-long CR forces agencies to operate on auto-pilot, unable to start new programs or make any policy changes.

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