Fiscal Policy — FY17 Funded through April (Dec. 12)

Late Friday night, the Senate adopted the FY17 Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through April 28 that passed the House the day before.  The Senate vote came only 62 minutes before the government would otherwise have gone into partial shutdown.

The 114th Congress is now in the books. Below we review the route to passage of its last act — the CR, its notable provisions, and the context for consideration of the new year’s Resolution.




The Road to a CR

Some had hoped that Congress would produce an omnibus this year that would fully fund the government until fiscal year, FY18.   Senate Armed Forced Chair John McCain, along with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, warned that a continuing resolution and the budget freezes it entails could severely hamper the military’s capabilities and planning.  This is true for social programs as well.

But the GOP leadership decided to use a CR to allow Trump a say on the budget early in his administration, which Speaker Ryan said was the leading consideration in why they decided to use a CR instead of an omnibus, as they anticipated that it would be better for their agenda to work with incoming President Trump instead of President Obama for a full FY17 budget.

House Leaders had originally hoped to pass a CR that would push the budgeting process into March,  but the Senate pushed for a period, as the early part of the Senate’s year will be occupied by approving Trump’s nominations and big-ticket legislation.

Last-Minute Maneuvers


Drama unfolded briefly in the Senate as several Senate Democrats, led by Sherrod Brown and Joe Manchin, threatened to hold up the process, demanding that a rider providing health benefits to 23,000 miners and widows for the CR’s four months be extended to a full year.

The odds were against this tactic from the beginning as the House had already adjourned for the year amid Speaker Ryan said that he had no intention of calling the chamber back to amend the bill.  If  Senators Manchin and Brown had held to their threats, it would have led to a short government shutdown that would have lasted at most until today.   At practically the last minute, the Senate halted debate and held the vote on final passage, 62 minutes before a government shutdown.

The Senate adopted the Resolution by 63-36.  The President signed the bill early Saturday morning.  It is interesting to note that the bill was not a clear party vote, with members from the center as well as  the wings of each party voting for and against the bill.

What is in the CR?

The CR currently provides enough money to fund government operations at the current levels until April 28, 2017.   House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers called the CR a band-aid only addressing immediate funding needs and keeping below sequester limits.

It includes some key items advocated by one side or the other:

  •  supplemental DOD funding in the amount of $5.8 billion; the Department of State and USAID receive $4.3 billion.
  •  $4.1 billion to Disaster Relief for flooding, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
  •  $872 million to support the 21stCentury Cures Act of 2016 which passed Congress last week, with much of the funds addressing opioid abuse at the state level.
  •  $170 million dollars to address contaminated drinking water, finally addressing the water crisis that has happened in Flint, Michigan.
  •  $45 million to extend healthcare coverage for miners and widows.

Drawing initial attention was a provision to streamline the process of rewriting legislation that requires a nominee for Secretary of Defense to have been a civilian for at least seven years before taking office.  This would benefit Trump’s pick for Secretary of Defense, retired General Mattis, who does not meet the current requirements and would require a special Congressional waiver to hold the post.  The move has generated criticism from Democrats opposed to the waiver and Mattis’ appointment.

The CR also includes a controversial rider to block the SEC from finalizing a rule to  require public companies to disclose their donations to outside groups that engage in political spending. This had been a contentious issue in earlier resolutions, with Democrats hoping to push through legislation that would reduce dark money.

Finally, the CR prevents the IRS from issuing new guidance on what constitutes political activity by nonprofit organizations, further weakening dark money protections.


Some Congressional leaders, particularly in the House, argued for a year-long CR, saying it would clear the decks and pave the way on the Hill for the incoming administration’s ambitious legislative agenda noted above.

But in the Senate, there is the opportunity afforded by reconciliation — policy instructions added to a Budget Resolution that have the force of law of adopted.  And they are filibuster proof, if revenue neutral over the ten-year budget window.  Getting 50 votes is far easier than 60 when you have a 52-48 majority.

Speculation is rampant about what the reconciliation instructions to a budget resolution covering the second six-months of FY17 might be, with ACA repeal  and tax reform most frequently mentioned.

Senate Budget Chair Enzi is believed to be preparing a FY18 budget for a April 7 release, to get the reconciliation process finished before Congress adjourns for the two-week Easter/Passover break.  This bill could also address comprehensive tax reform and a rollback of Dodd-Frank in reconciliation.

29 thoughts on “Fiscal Policy — FY17 Funded through April (Dec. 12)”

  1. I simply wanted to thank you very much once more. I do not know what I would have tried without these techniques shared by you regarding that subject matter. It was actually an absolute scary scenario in my position, nevertheless taking note of this specialized tactic you solved the issue took me to weep with happiness. Now i’m thankful for your support and thus sincerely hope you really know what an amazing job you have been putting in training the mediocre ones via your webpage. Most probably you haven’t met any of us.

  2. You’ve made some good points there. I checked on the
    web for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go
    along with your views on this web site. 0mniartist asmr

  3. whoah this blog is magnificent i love studying your articles.
    Keep up the great work! You understand, a lot of persons are searching around
    for this information, you could aid them greatly.

  4. Awesome blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there
    that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Kudos!

  5. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of
    this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that
    “perfect balance” between usability and appearance. I must say you have done a
    excellent job with this. In addition, the blog loads super quick for me on Internet explorer.

    Excellent Blog!

  6. Quality content is the crucial to be a focus for the viewers to pay a
    quick visit the web site, that’s what this website is providing.

  7. I have been surfing on-line more than 3 hours lately,
    but I never discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as
    you probably did, the web shall be a lot more helpful than ever

  8. What’s up mates, how is the whole thing, and what you would like to say concerning this article,
    in my view its actually remarkable in support of me.

  9. scoliosis
    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Ie.

    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web
    browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Thanks

  10. dating sites
    Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!
    free dating sites

  11. Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from
    somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple
    tweeks would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you
    got your design. Thanks

  12. Link exchange is nothing else except it is only placing the other person’s webpage link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do same in support of you.

  13. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.

    Please let me know. Many thanks

  14. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating
    it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  15. What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively useful and it has aided me out loads.
    I’m hoping to give a contribution & assist different customers like its helped me.
    Great job.

  16. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow,
    fantastic site!

  17. I absolutely love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.

    Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own blog and would love to find
    out where you got this from or exactly what
    the theme is named. Kudos!

  18. I’m no longer sure where you’re getting your info, however good topic.
    I must spend a while finding out more or understanding more.

    Thank you for fantastic information I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *