Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Fund Government Until Dec. 20

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives and the Senate passed a temporary funding measure, or continuing resolution (CR), to fund the government until December 20. House members voted Tuesday and the Senate voted Thursday. The president signed the legislation into law on Thursday evening, averting the shutdown that would have begun at midnight.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said Monday, "With a government shutdown deadline just days away, this continuing resolution is necessary to keep government open as we work towards completing the appropriations process.”

The CR extends current funding levels for most agencies and boosts funding for the 2020 census. The bill also includes a 3.1 percent pay raise for the military.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) voiced his support for the measure on Monday as well.

“While the House and Senate continue negotiations on setting the allocations, we need to buy more time. The House and Senate need to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 20 and allow these talks to continue," Senator McConnell said from the Senate floor. “This is what we need, a CR as clean as possible through Dec. 20. ... A clean CR to Dec. 20 would pass the Senate, and the White House has indicated President Trump would sign it.”

The House passed the legislation in a 231 to 192 vote. The Senate passed the legislation on a 74 to 20 vote. The Senate rejected an amendment from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have implemented an across-the-board 1% spending cut. 

The House has passed 10 out of 12 appropriations measures on the floor in predominantly party line votes.

The Senate has passed a package of appropriations measures to fund the departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, Justice, and other agencies. However, these measures differ from House-passed measures for the same departments and will therefore require reconciliation between the two chambers.

Border wall funding remains the principle issue delaying compromise between the majorities in the two chambers.

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