On Friday afternoon, the Congress extended funding for FY 2017 for another week until May 5. The short-term CR was intended to give Congress more time to iron out the last remaining deal on a final budget for fiscal year 2017 which ends on September 30 of this year.
By late Sunday night, Congressional leadership announced an agreement they hope to approve later this week. Negotiations to get a final deal seemed to get a boost earlier in the week when the Trump Administration gave up on its demands for an initial $1.4 billion in funding for the US-Mexican border wall. The Administration also signaled that they would agree to extend the cost sharing subsidies (CSR) provided under the Affordable Care Act.
The plan provides more for defense spending while also providing an equal increase on the non-defense side. There were numerous other issues that had to be dealt with: various policy riders including attempts to restrict the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Planned Parenthood funding. Other issues in dispute include continued federal funding for minor’s health insurance and pension funding, emergency funding for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program, and some possible labor law restrictions.
If the deal is agreed to it would not be across the board funding but specific changes and funding levels for programs based on original negotiations that started last fall. The 2017 budget is being funded at a level that are slightly above the agreed to caps and sequestration restrictions enacted five years ago.
Some issues could still trip up a final deal this week but Congress seems to be at this point on track for a final package to be approved before the House leaves at the end of this week for a one week break. Ultimately the Administration will have to signal that they will sign off on any deal and that would mean no last-minute objections by the President but the Administration will get a significant increase in defense spending of at least $15 billion.
Once this fiscal year is over and settled the House will be off for a week and the Administration should be releasing its full budget for 2018. That budget is likely to be dragged into the next fiscal year considering they are already behind on their timetable due to this delay and the fact that this is a new administration. Normally a budget is submitted in February and a budget resolution finished by April 15. That May budget will likely reignite new and old controversial cuts.