Nextgov: The Path to Averting a Shutdown Is Still Unclear, With Just Days Until the Deadline

The Senate is set to cast its first in a series of votes for a funding bill on Tuesday to keep agencies afloat through Dec. 16, though the prospects for passage in its current form are dim.

The continuing resolution, which would keep the government open past the Friday evening expiration of current appropriations, includes a controversial measure to speed up the permitting process for some major energy projects. Republican leadership has said it will not support the CR with that language included, and a handful of Democrats have said the same. Still, when lawmakers unveiled the bill late Monday, it included the permitting language…

The roughly 10-week spending bill would keep agencies funded at their current levels into the lame duck session of Congress, punting on appropriations until after the midterm elections but creating a new deadline before the new Congress is seated. The measure includes “anomalies” to provide funding increases for certain programs, such as $400 million to increase hiring at the Social Security Administration; $20 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to assist with the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi; and $1 billion for the Health and Human Services Department’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It also includes more than $12 billion for Ukraine aid, matching the White House’s request, and new funding for disaster relief.

The CR would reauthorize user fees for the Food and Drug Administration. Absent congressional action, the agency’s ability to collect the fees would expire at the end of the month and 3,500 employees could face layoffs or furloughs. The agency has held off sending official notices to employees, citing expectations that Congress will act. The agency will, however, send the notices in the coming days if there is no movement on the user fees… Read the full article here.

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