Congress Punts on Finishing Federal Budget Until March

November 21, 2016


Yesterday, House Republican leadership announced that they will draft another continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government until March 31, 2017. This is being done in consultation with President-Elect Donald Trump's transition team. There is bipartisan opposition to this proposal in the Senate, however it appears unlikely that it would be filibustered. The current CR expires on December 9, 2016.

Assuming President Obama agrees to the new CR, it remains unclear how child care and early childhood development programs will fare in a final budget agreement. When the 115th Congress convenes in early January, they will likely pass a budget resolution that could include instructions to the Appropriations Committees to cut non-defense, discretionary spending even further for FY 2017. This resolution is also expected to include legislative language that would change or eliminate major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and possibly include major structural changes to Medicaid.

Once the budget resolution process is completed, Congress will include it in a "budget reconciliation" bill. A reconciliation bill is a legislative vehicle that allows for changes to spending, revenue, and debt provisions under Federal law. Passage of a reconciliation package only requires a simple majority in the Senate and is not subject to a filibuster. President-Elect Trump has stated that he would support this initiative and sign it into law.

We expect more details in the coming weeks and will share them once they are made available.

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Topics: Policy & Advocacy

Chrisi West

Written by Chrisi West

Chrisi has more than 11 years of experience in advocacy (grassroots and digital) through her work for nonprofits, and on candidate and issues organizing campaigns in Virginia and at the national level. She joined Child Care Aware of America in March 2015 and has supported the work of Child Care Aware of America on communications, digital organizing, and now as the director of advocacy, empowering CCR&Rs and family advocates to take action on child care and early childhood education.