Short-Term Continuing Resolution to Maintain Government Operations Released
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today introduced a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) (H.R. 2028) to prevent a government shutdown and continue funding for federal programs and services until April 28, 2017. The legislation also contains funding for emergency disaster relief.
Chairman Rogers gave the following statement on the introduction of this CR:
“This Continuing Resolution is the necessary step for an operating and functioning government over the next four months. However, this type of short-term spending absolutely should not be the final answer to funding the federal government for the year. It is imperative that Congress complete its work on the remaining 11 Appropriations bills to ensure the proper and responsible use of tax dollars, to provide necessary resources for important programs and services, and to hold federal agencies accountable to the American people.
“This legislation is just a band aid, but a critical one. It will give the next Congress the time to complete the annual Appropriations process, and in the meantime, take care of immediate national funding needs.”
Continuing Resolution Summary:
Length and Level of Funding – The CR extends funding for operations for most federal agencies, programs and services until April 28, 2017. It maintains the current budget cap level of $1.07 trillion put into place under the Budget Control Act of 2011.
The legislation continues policy and funding provisions included in currently enacted fiscal year 2016 Appropriations legislation. It does not include controversial riders, or major changes in existing federal policy.
Overseas Contingency Funding (OCO) – The bill contains $5.8 billion for the Department of Defense and $4.3 billion for the State Department/USAID to support military and diplomatic efforts to fight ISIS and terror around the globe, to provide essential resources that will ensure our national security, and to increase the readiness of our troops. Including increases in base discretionary spending, the Defense level in the bill is $8 billion above the rate in the current Continuing Resolution.
Natural Disaster Relief – The CR contains $4.1 billion in disaster relief funding to address damages cause by recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Matthew, floods, drought, and other severe weather events.
- $1.8 billion for Community Development Block Grants to states to support recovery and rebuilding efforts for individuals with homes damaged by severe weather events;
- $1.025 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers for repairs to flood and coastal storm protection projects and dredging;
- $1 billion for the Federal Highway Emergency Relief program to repair damaged highways;
- $206.1 million for emergency watershed protection and conservation; and
- $74.7 million to repair damaged NASA facilities.
Drinking Water – The CR contains $170 million to address the infrastructure and health needs of those communities affected by contaminated drinking water. This includes grants for infrastructure improvements, lead poisoning prevention care for mothers and children, and a lead exposure registry. This funding is fully offset.
Funding for the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 – Included in the legislation is $872 million in funding for the House-passed “21st Century Cures Act of 2016,” which boosts critical medical research, drug approval, and drug abuse efforts. This includes $20 million for the Food and Drug Administration Innovation account, $352 million for the National Institutes of Health Innovation account, and $500 million for states to respond to the opioid abuse crisis. This funding is fully offset.
The CR also includes provisions needed to prevent catastrophic, irreversible, or detrimental changes to government programs, to support our national security, and to ensure good government.
Some of these provisions include:
- A provision allowing funding to be used for the Ohio Class Submarine Replacement program to avoid delays that would increase costs.
- A provision allowing funding to be used for Apache Attack Helicopter and Black Hawk Helicopter multiyear procurements to avoid delays that would increase costs.
- A provision allowing funding to be used for the KC-46A Tanker program to avoid delays that would increase costs.
- A provision allowing funds to be used for critical nuclear weapons activities.
- A provision allowing funds to be used to continue Homeland Security operations, including border security, immigration enforcement, aviation security, and the protection of the President-elect.
- A provision ensuring the continuation of Federal Aviation Administration air travel operations and safety activities.
- A provision preventing an increase in pay for Members of Congress.
- A provision allowing additional funding, if needed, for the housing and care of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) after February 1, 2017. Due to the variability in the increased number of children coming into the country, it is possible that additional funds may be needed at that time.
- A provision requiring the Department of Transportation to follow the existing 34-hour restart “Hours of Service” rule for truck drivers to ensure continuity in federal rest regulations, should the report on the rule (mandated in prior Acts) not meet the criteria set by Congress.
- A provision allowing funds for NASA’s Deep Space Exploration program to avoid delays that would increase long-term costs.
- A provision allowing funds for the Joint Polar Satellite System programs, ensuring the continuation of data for weather warnings, including forecasts of severe weather events.
- A provision allowing funds to begin operation of a summer nutrition program for low-income children.
- A provision allowing funds to make District of Columbia school vouchers (SOAR) available in time for the next academic year.
- A provision to provide $45 million, fully offset, for continued health care benefits for certain retired miners under the United Mine Workers Association 1993 Benefit Plan. This is necessary to prevent the loss of health care coverage for these miners and their families, scheduled to expire on December 31, 2016.
For the full text of the legislation, please visit: http://docs.house.gov/floor/