House tees up continuing resolution to avoid Oct. 1 shutdown

Protected leave for federal health workers and a USCIS funding measure are included in the stopgap bill.

US Congress House side Shutterstock photo ID: 156615524 By mdgn editorial use only
 

The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through Dec. 11, avoiding a shutdown in the month before the national elections.

The stopgap funding measure released Sept. 21 maintains funding for programs and agencies at fiscal years 2020 levels, with a few exceptions. The bill also renews provisions of public health and transportation programs that were set to expire Nov. 30.

"While the House did its job and passed bills funding nearly every government agency, Senate Republicans did not even begin the appropriations process," Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement. "Because of their irresponsibility, a continuing resolution is sadly necessary. This clean continuing resolution keeps government open while giving Congress additional time to negotiate annual appropriations bills that will invest for the people."

According to multiple press reports, the bill is the result of House and Senate negotiations and as of last week had the support of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. One hitch threatens to derail easy passage of the measure – a conflict between Democrats and Republicans about extending payments to farmers and ranchers and extending special food benefits to recipients of free or reduced-price school lunches authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. Failure to agree on extensions could result in the House and Senate passing different bills, requiring reconciliation or the House to vote on a Senate bill as a substitute amendment if the measure is to pass before the Sept. 30 shutdown deadline.

Leave and special spending

The continuing resolution authorizes members of the Public Health Service -- a commissioned corps of doctors, nurses and other health care workers based across the government at multiple agencies -- to retain annual leave in excess of the 60 days because of the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the Public Health Service will be allowed to retain a total of 85 days of accumulated leave under the measure through the end of fiscal year 2023. Even if there is a shutdown and the measure passes after Sept. 30, the leave provision will retroactively preserve excess leave accrued in fiscal year 2020.

Additionally, the bill grants anomalies to a few agencies allowing them to fund certain programs at a tempo faster than a straight continuing resolution would permit. The Census Bureau is able to move money needed to complete the 2020 population count, although the bill does not offer a deadline extension sought by many lawmakers to account for time lost in the enumeration to coronavirus restrictions.

The bill also gives the Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to spend as needed to maintain the pace of implementation of its electronic health record program, including contracting costs and employee salaries.

The bill also includes the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which raises the fees on premium processing by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in part to help close a funding gap at the agency. The agency had planned to furlough more than 13,000 employees in August because of a shortfall in funds. To avert the furlough, the agency cut contract spending and increased fee collection, but it said that operations would suffer and that furloughs could be possible in the future.

The House bill also limits what the Defense Department can do with continuing resolution funding: new projects, new production and increases in production on existing programs are excluded for the duration of the stopgap measure. The bill also doesn't appropriate funds for contractors sidelined by the pandemic, as was authorized by Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act signed in March. The Pentagon has projected those costs as being more than $10 billion. DOD and contractor groups have been pressing Congress for a dedicated funding stream for those payments, which otherwise would have to come from program funds. The Senate could still include coverage for these costs in its continuing resolution, but that funding may have to wait for another round of COVID relief legislation.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.