Legislation Introduced to Fund Government through March 23

Senate Measure Includes Additional Disaster Relief and Critical Agreement on FY2018 & FY2019 Spending Caps

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today advocated for approval of Senate legislation filed Wednesday to avert a government shutdown, provide critical disaster relief, and, importantly, set the stage to complete the FY2018 appropriations process in coming weeks.

The Senate bill includes a continuing resolution (CR) to fund government operations from Feb. 8 through March 23, providing time for completion of FY2018 appropriations bills.  It also provides $89.3 billion in additional emergency disaster relief for states and communities affected by recent hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters.  In addition, it contains a two-year agreement setting defense and nondefense spending levels for FY2018 and FY2019.

“The Senate should approve this bill.  Its enactment would allow the Appropriations committees to work in a thoughtful manner over the next several weeks to reach consensus on important bipartisan priorities like funding our national defense, the opioid epidemic, veterans’ health care, and infrastructure,” Cochran said.

“More immediately, we need this bill to maintain government operations and to enable millions of Americans affected by recent disasters to continue rebuilding their lives and communities,” he said.

Cochran has for months called for Congress and the Trump administration to reach consensus on spending levels.  The spending agreement in the Senate bill would allow the Appropriations committees to complete this year’s spending bills and prepare for the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

The Senate bill also includes legislation related to the extension of healthcare policies and mandatory funding, including extending funding for Community Health Centers and an additional four-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beyond the six-year CHIP reauthorization enacted into law earlier this year.

The legislation has a limited number of anomalies to address unique issues arising during the duration of the CR.  These anomalies would:  provide funding necessary for the 2020 Decennial Census Program; allow the sale and use of up to $350 million of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to carry out the modernization program authorized in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015; provide $6.379 million in offset operating funds for the Southeastern Power Administration; allow critical new military construction starts for the F-35A program; provide the Judiciary with additional juror fees to accommodate for increased juror usage; fund staffing of newly opened or expanded Indian Health Service facilities;  facilitate the Department of Transportation credit program consolidation; continue to allow the Department of Education to provide account maintenance fee payments under the Federal Family Education Loan Program; and extend Housing and Urban Development Department HOPE VI program authorization.


Continuing Resolution Summary:  https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/download/continuing-resolution-summary
Disaster Relief Summary:  https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/download/supplemental-appropriations-summary
Legislative Text:  https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/download/bipartisan-budget-act-of-2018-text