Today, the President signed HR 6157, a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund those federal agencies through December 7, 2018, at largely FY 2018 terms and spending levels, for which FY 2019 appropriations bills have yet to be enacted. The CR is designed to give Congress leeway to continue negotiating the remaining FY 2019 spending bills even after the beginning of the new fiscal year (October 1, 2018). Attached to the CR is full year FY 2019 appropriations for the Defense and the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education agencies.
We had hoped that the FY 2019 appropriations package which would have funded Interior, Environment and Related Agencies; Agriculture; Transportation and Housing; and Financial Services would have also been finalized and enacted for the full year. While negotiations took place over the course of several weeks, a number of issues were not able to be resolved before the beginning of the new fiscal year, October 1, 2018. These agencies will instead be funded by the CR through December 7, 2018. For our General Memoranda comparing FY 2018 enacted levels with FY 2019 proposals, see General Memorandum 18-025 of June 26, 2018, for the Indian Health Service (IHS) and General Memorandum 18-032 of August 16, 2018, for Indian Affairs. Other agencies that will be funded under the CR are Homeland Security; State-Foreign Operations; and Commerce-Justice Science.
The agencies for which appropriations have already been enacted (in addition to Defense and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education), are Energy-Water; Military Construction-Veterans Administration; and Legislative Branch (PL 115-244).
In addition to the CR, the following are included in HR 6157:
• Extension of the authorizations to December 7, 2018, for the Violence Again Women Act (VAWA) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), both of which are set to expire October 1, 2018;
• Authority for agencies to make entitlement payments that are due within 30 days of the expiration of the CR; and
• IHS staffing and operations funding for facilities that were opened, renovated or expanded in FY 2018: $14,112,000 from the Services Account and $1,200,000 from the Facilities Account in addition to the funding that would be provided in the CR.
As is common in CRs, the funds will not be distributed for programs that may have high initial rates of operation or for funds which are fully distributed at the beginning of the fiscal year. This is because of the possibility that Congress might eliminate or reduce funding for those particular programs in a final appropriations bill. Agencies are to use the most limited funding action permitted in the Act in order to provide for continuation of projects and activities. Agencies will be allowed to apportion funds in a manner that would avoid furloughing employees.
Please let us know if we may provide additional information about the Continuing Resolution or other FY 2019 appropriations matters.