Appropriators announced this week that Congress will attach a temporary spending measure to HR 6157, a “minibus” spending package that will fund a portion of the federal government for Fiscal 2019. The temporary spending measure, also known as a continuing resolution, will fund certain aspects of the federal government through December 7, 2018, and avoid a government shutdown on September 30, 2018. This extension buys appropriators more time to negotiate the budget for Fiscal 2019.
Congress released the final language of HR 6157, with the continuing resolution, on Thursday evening. HR 6157 includes the perennially controversial budget language for the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education. Negotiators have yet to reach a deal on a four-bill spending package that would fund the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and more. Democrats indicated they could not support the appropriations measure to fund these federal agencies after Republicans refused to withdraw several conservative policy riders contained within the package.
Despite the setback in a funding several aspects fo the federal government, Congress approved several other aspects of the Fiscal 2019 budget on Thursday when the House approved a minibus package of three spending bills. Subsequently, a $147.5 billion spending package to fund the Department of Energy, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Congress’ administrative costs will now be forwarded to President Trump for his consideration. This package is significant because it marks the first time in a decade that Congress passed such a large portion of the federal budget before the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2018.