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Public Policy Newsletter Article

House Votes to Avoid Government Shutdown; Excludes Covid Relief Funding

  • 2020-09-24T14:30:00.000+0000
  • Author: Laure Fabrega

On September 23, the House passed a continuing resolution (CR), HR8337 to avoid a government shutdown and fund federal agencies past September 30 (the end of the current fiscal year). The bill passed by a 359-57 vote. All members of the California congressional delegation voted to pass the bill, with the exception of Rep. McClintock (R-4). The Senate is expected to vote on it early next week.

The measure mostly continues the current funding levels for federal agencies through December 11 and negotiations avoided major partisan priorities related to the covid-19 pandemic. A last-minute compromise between Republicans and Democrats added language to fund farm payments and food lunches, respectively. The bill also extends the rare pediatric priority review voucher program until December 11, a top priority for Biocom. The program would have otherwise expired at the end of September.

The CR only provides temporary funding and the House and the Senate still have to pass funding measures to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. House leadership has indicated they would try pass omnibus funding measures during the lame-duck session. The House has passed 10 out of 12 appropriation bills. The Senate hasn’t started work on appropriation bills.

Meanwhile, talks on a covid-19 relief package have stalled. The House passed a bill in May totaling over $3 trillion. The Senate released a bill earlier this month at $500 billion, which failed to get cloture votes. It is unlikely that any new funding will be authorized before the November elections.