The Senate and House of Representatives prevented a government shutdown with passage of a continuing resolution on Dec. 7 that will provide funding through Dec. 22.
The Senate cobbled together the necessary support for H.J. Res 123 after the House passed the measure introduced by Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) by a vote of 234-193. Absent Congressional action, the federal government would shut down due to a lack of sufficient funding on Dec. 9.
The short-term CR will provide House and Senate leaders and their respective appropriations committees additional time to find consensus on total spending for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018 ending on Sept. 30, 2018.
Federal lawmakers must now strike a deal on how to allocate these resources between defense and non-defense initiatives. Legislative provisions enacted via the Budget Control Act of 2011 how much money the federal government can spend on defense and non-defense discretionary policies. If the federal government exceeds these statutorily mandated spending caps, it triggers sequestration and draconian across-the-board funding cuts. Despite the slow pace of negotiations, federal lawmakers continue to tout bipartisan support for avoiding sequestration.
If Republicans and Democrats are successful in reaching an agreement on total spending figures and the subsequent allocation between defense and non-defense initiatives, legislative action on a host of other stalled policies, including reauthorizing the expired State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), could be imminent.
The American College of Radiology will continue to monitor developments related to the new Dec. 22 deadline and efforts to fund the federal government for the 2018 Fiscal Year and beyond. Radiologists should monitor Advocacy in Action eNews for the latest information.