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House Approves Two Bills to Continue Government Operations and Provide Emergency Disaster Aid

Washington, December 21, 2017

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved two pieces of legislation to temporarily continue government funding until January 19, 2018, and to provide $81 billion in disaster relief for those affected by recent hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the legislation:

“The Continuing Resolution will extend current levels of funding for government operations through January 19, 2018, and will prevent a government shutdown. This is critical to our nation’s stability, our economy, for the continuation of programs and services the American people depend on.

“The resolution will also allow time for Republican and Democratic Leaders to come to a longer-term budget agreement on top-line government funding levels for the 2018 fiscal year. Once this agreement is reached, the Appropriations Committee will continue negotiations with the Senate in order to enact all 12 regular Appropriations bills to ensure essential funding for federal programs and services, including national defense. It is critical that Congress complete this Constitutionally-mandated budgetary work as quickly as possible.

“The second bill provides $81 billion in assistance for the next stage of recovery from multiple, back-to-back, devastating disasters, including some of the largest major hurricanes, wildfires, and agriculture losses this country has ever seen. From Florida to Texas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, California, and all areas dealing with major disaster declarations – this Congress is committed to helping communities and families recover.

“I now urge the Senate to act quickly on this bill so that hard-working Americans continue to have access to the programs they rely on, including a strong national defense and critical disaster recovery assistance.”

Highlights:

Continuing Resolution (CR) – This stopgap measure will temporarily extend federal funding until January 19, 2018. In the absence of this legislation, under the current law existing funding will run out on December 22, 2017. It also includes:

  • An additional $4.7 billion for emergency Defense needs, including ship repair and missile defense;
  • A temporary extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to ensure States have the flexibility to administer the program until March 31, 2018;
  • An extension of the existing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for the duration of the CR;
  • A temporary extension of the National Flood Insurance program for the duration of the CR;
  • An additional $2.1 billion for the Veterans Choice Act funding to cover the upcoming shortfalls in the program; and
  • A delay of automatic (sequestration) cuts in both defense and non-defense funding for the duration of the CR.

Emergency Disaster Supplemental: The bill will provide additional emergency assistance for recent hurricanes, wildfires in California, and related agriculture losses. This emergency funding totals $81 billion, and targets programs that will continue relief and recovery efforts in all affected communities, including in Texas, Florida, California, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For a summary of the emergency supplemental portion of the legislation, please click here.

For the text of the Continuing Resolution, please click here.

For the text of the Emergency Supplemental, please click here.

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