GM 18-034

Senate Passes FY 2019 Continuing Resolution through December 7; House Passage Expected Next Week

On September 18, 2018, the Senate overwhelmingly approved HR 6157, a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through December 7, 2018, at largely FY 2018 terms and spending levels. The House is not in session this week but the measure is expected to be considered expeditiously when the House returns next week. The CR is designed to give Congress leeway to continue negotiating the remaining FY 2019 spending bills even after the beginning of the new fiscal year (October 1, 2018).

In addition to the CR, the following are included in HR 6157:

• Full year FY 2019 appropriations for Defense and for Labor-Health and Human Services-Education;
• Extension of the authorizations to December 7, 2018, for the Violence Again Women Act (VAWA) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), both of which are set to expire October 1, 2018;
• Authority for agencies to make entitlement payments that are due within 30 days of the expiration of the CR; and
• Indian Health Service (IHS) staffing and operations funding for facilities that were opened, renovated or expanded in FY 2018: $14,112,000 from the Services Account and $1,200,000 from the Facilities Account.

As is common in CRs, the funds will not be distributed for programs that may have high initial rates of operation or for funds which are fully distributed at the beginning of the fiscal year. This is because of the possibility that Congress might eliminate or reduce funding for those particular programs in a final appropriations bill. Agencies are to use the most limited funding action permitted in the Act in order to provide for continuation of projects and activities. Agencies will be allowed to apportion funds in a manner that would avoid furloughing employees.

Completed FY 2019 Appropriations. Congress earlier this month approved and sent to the White House for signature a package of FY 2019 spending bills covering Energy-Water, Military Construction-Veterans Administration, and Legislative Branch.

Remaining FY 2019 Appropriations. A pending package of FY 2019 appropriation bills covering Interior, Environment and Related Agencies (which funds Indian Affairs and the IHS), Agriculture, Transportation-Housing, and Financial Services is still being worked on by conferees. Apparently still unresolved are matters regarding several policy riders and the issue of a federal pay raise.

Still to be conferenced are State-Foreign Ops and Commerce-Justice-Science. Regarding Homeland Security, we understand that further action will not take place on that bill until after the mid-term elections, thus putting off the highly contentious issue of funding for a wall on our southern border.

Please let us know if we may provide additional information about the Continuing Resolution or other matters in this Memorandum.