Budget and Appropriations: Congress Fails to Enact Appropriations; Government Enters Partial Shutdown

Due to a failure to enact appropriations or a continuing resolution, parts of the federal government shut down on December 22, 2018. Many agencies, including those under the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, remain open and are largely unaffected due to the passage of full-year appropriation bills earlier in 2018. Employees at several other agencies, including the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Justice, Commerce, State, and Homeland Security, are furloughed unless they are classified as “excepted.”

On January 3, the newly-seated House of Representatives approved two bills: one to fund the Department of Homeland Security at current levels (and not including funding for the border wall with Mexico that President Trump is seeking) until February 8, and another to fund all other unfunded agencies based on levels approved by bipartisan majorities of the Senate Appropriations Committee in the previous Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated that he does not intend to allow votes on these measures. The Arc supports promptly restoring funding for agencies funded through the Commerce, Justice, and Science, and Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations packages as these agencies operate programs important to people with disabilities. House Democrats plan to introduce individual agency spending bills this week.

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