House of Representatives Republican leadership, following a meeting with Vice President-Elect Pence, announced today that, rather than working to enact individual FY 2017 appropriations bills or an omnibus bill, they will instead push for a new FY 2017 Continuing Resolution (CR) that would extend through March 31, 2017. This comes at the request of President-Elect Trump. House Speaker Ryan (R-WI) and numerous appropriators had earlier said they wanted to complete FY 2017 appropriations work this year, although the conservative House Freedom Caucus Members advocated for a year-long CR. House Appropriations Committee Chair Rogers (R-KY) said his Committee “will begin work immediately on a Continuing Resolution at the current rate of funding to extend the operations of our government through March 31, 2017.”
We have not yet seen an official statement from Senate Republican leadership but there are some indications that they will go along with the plan, even though they also had earlier advocated for completing FY 2017 appropriations this year. Congressional Democrats are opposed to the proposal for a CR that would extend through March 2017.
The current CR under which federal agencies are being funded extends through December 9, 2016, so Congress will need to act by then. For agencies who were anticipating possible funding increases or helpful Committee report instructions, the CR is bad news. The proposed new CR would mean that federal agencies would be funded, for the most part, at FY 2016 levels and conditions.
Some Appropriations Committee members are indicating that the proposed new CR, given that it would take us half-way through the fiscal year, will be complex and contain a significant number of anomalies (funding or directives that vary from FY 2016).
Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the status of
FY 2017 appropriations. We will continue to follow this evolving issue.