FY17 Continuing Resolution (CR)
The House and Senate cleared a 10-week continuing resolution (CR) this week averting a shutdown of the federal government at the end of fiscal year 2016. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 72 to 26 on Wednesday afternoon followed by the House who passed it by a vote of 342 to 85 later that evening. A deal negotiated between House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) over funding for the water crisis in Flint, MI paved the way for passage of the CR. The President signed the bill into law on Thursday.
The measures funds the government through December 9 and includes the following:
- Maintains FY16 funding levels through December 9, reduced by 0.496%
- $1.1B in supplemental emergency funding to combat the Zika virus (HHS, State Department, and USAID)
- Funding is subject to the Hyde Amendment
- Does not include a provision that would have suspended duplicative EPA permitting requirements for mosquito control
- $500M in aid for Louisiana and other states that have experienced natural disasters
- Higher rate of funding for the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to begin implementation of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement CARA using FY17 funds
- Higher rate of funding for commodity supplemental food program
- Full year funding for the FY17 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs conference report
- The bill provides $82.3 billion in FY2017 discretionary funding, $2.5 billion above the FY2016 level
- $260 million for continued modernization of the VA electronic health record system. The bill includes language restricting the use of this funding until the VA demonstrates functional improvements in the interoperability of a system to seamlessly exchange veterans’ medical data among the VA, DOD and the private sector.
- Additional funding and authorities related to the transition and inauguration of the incoming Presidential administration
- Rescission of $400M in funding
- Prohibition on DOD from starting new programs, entering into multi-year contracts, or increasing production rates
- Authorization for DOD to provide IT services to OPM’s National Background Investigations Bureau
- Provision for DHS to obligate funds in a new account and budget structure pursuant to agreement with the Appropriations Committees
- Funding flexibility for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration to maintain their staffing levels
- Extension of authority needed to obtain leading edge Homeland Security R&D or prototypes using “other transactions” agreements for work with non-traditional government contractors
- Funding to implement new activities required by the Toxic Substance Control Act (offset by fees collected by the agency following a rulemaking)
- Allowance for the continued support of 60 privately-owned, militarily useful, U.S. flag, U.S. crewed, commercial ships in order to provide DOD with military sealift capacity for overseas operations
The measure did not include funding to help repair the lead-contaminated water system of Flint, MI nor a provision from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) preventing the transition of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to a multi-stakeholder community. While Democrats had held up action on the CR over funding for Flint, they relented on Wednesday after receiving assurances from House and Senate leadership that Flint aid will be part of the final Water Resources Development Act conference bill in the lame duck session. As for ICANN, the Commerce Department is scheduled to officially hand over its oversight of the California nonprofit tomorrow.
Congress will have less than three weeks in session to figure out how to fund the federal government through the rest of FY17 when they return after the election. Eleven FY17 appropriations bills still need to be passed, but there isn’t enough time to take them up individually. Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) favor smaller appropriations packages (minibuses) as opposed to one big omnibus for FY17 where conservatives believe that excessive spending can get passed with little scrutiny or notice. The real holdup on any potential minibus or omnibus could be Inclusion of ideological policy riders.
FY17 Continuing Resolution:
FY17 Continuing Resolution Section-By-Section Summary
FY17 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Summary:
Zika Research, Treatment, and Control Funding Summary:
Explanatory Statement (Front):
Explanatory Statement (Division A):
Explanatory Statement (Divisions B, C, D):
FY17 Defense Supplemental Request
The Department of Defense (DOD) is expected to send a supplemental funding request to Congress in November. The request will come in the form of a supplemental request to the FY17 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget DOD submitted earlier this year. The additional OCO funds will be used to fight ISIL in Iraq and Syria and to pay for additional 3,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2017. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that DOD has been planning a supplemental request since the spring.