Today In Washington
February 7, 2018
Source: Mark Lee – Director, Government Relations

All Eyes on the Senate – Yesterday, the House passed a continuing appropriations resolution (CR) to fund the government through March 23. This CR — the fifth since the beginning of FY2018 — continues to fund most of the federal government at FY2017 levels, while only raising the budget cap on defense spending — a source of contention as Congressional Democrats have insisted on a corresponding increase in domestic spending — to provide the Pentagon with $659B for the balance of FY2018. The bill also includes $225M in emergency funds for the SBA Disaster Loan program, and provides $3.6B annually in FY2018 and FY2019 for community health centers. The CR passed the House as Senate leadership of both parties are closing in on a two-year deal to lift both the defense and domestic spending caps imposed by the “Budget Control Act of 2011.” If a deal is reached today or tomorrow, and an amended CR is passed by the Senate, the House would be required to vote again to send the amended CR to the President for signature. As a precaution, Congressional Democrats— who were scheduled to leave town for their legislative retreat on the Eastern Shore of Maryland today — will instead remain in Washington for the balance of the week.