Budget & Appropriations/Prevention – Congress Back in Session; Focus is on Spending Bills

Members of Congress returned to Washington last week after a 7-week recess, facing a tight schedule to keep the federal government funded after the start of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 that begins on October 1 and to fund efforts to combat the Zika virus outbreak. Neither priority advanced last week as the Senate again blocked an FY 2017 spending package that funds several agencies and includes Zika funding. Opposition from some members was due to the package’s policy riders, low allocations, and a lack of parity between defense and nondefense programs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated they are working to negotiate a deal on a short term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government past Sept. 30 and provide needed supplemental Zika funding. Enactment of a CR could allow for Congress to adjourn before their planned October 7 date so members facing re-election can return to the campaign trail.

%d bloggers like this: