On Tuesday, November 20, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed another continuing resolution that will extend FY 2020 funding until December 20, 2019. Funding was set to expire on November 21, at midnight, but the Senate adopted the CR on Thursday, November 21.
The extension happened without much fanfare and changes beyond the one-month expansion. There are still on-going negotiations over how to distribute the funding between the various appropriations bills. A major hang-up continues to be spending on the President’s proposed wall between Mexico and the U.S.
The CR temporarily extends several programs, including the TANF block grant and various healthcare extenders such as community health centers and several programs in Medicare. All of these block grants need a long extension. Significantly the CR does provide $7.3 billion for the census. Funding that is much needed so that process can ramp up in 2020. Beyond that , the only thing that was agreed to was the extension of funding for a few weeks. That means the next pressure point comes before Christmas and the other holidays. There are many other items that Congress hopes to finish before the end of December, such as a prescription drug reform bill, a possible revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the health extenders referenced in the CR.
It is hoped that the Family First Transition Services Act can be attached to one of these bigger bills. Congress will be off for the Thanksgiving break this week and will have approximately three weeks to work out any potential agreements in-between the impeachment proceedings.