Today Congress acted to pass a short-term “continuing resolution” or “CR” which will fund the federal government for the next week. This measure will now go to the President for approval. If signed, it will keep the federal government operational for the next week while Congress debates funding for the remainder of federal fiscal year (FY) 2017.
While the overall spending levels are not the subject of much debate – Congress is widely expected to extend current levels through the remainder of the fiscal year – lawmakers have reached an impasse on including additional elements in the bill. President Trump originally said he wanted to fund a wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico through this legislation, and leadership in the House and Senate had wanted to pass the legislation as a package alongside their reforms to the ACA. But members on both sides of the aisle expressed some concerns about the proposed reforms and the short timeline.
With no agreement on these additional policy proposal “riders,” lawmakers are hoping that an additional week will provide them enough time to resolve any remaining disagreements or concerns. Democratic leadership has pledged that this is the last short-term extension for which they will cast their vote, raising the stakes on next week’s discussions even further.