Funding for FY 2017 runs out on December 9. If Congress wraps up by Thursday this Congress will come to an end. Congressional Republicans, working with the in-coming Administration, will partially extend current year funding into the spring instead of finishing the fiscal year decisions.
All last week Republican leaders from both houses were behind closed doors negotiating. Democrats are not part of the mix. The CR will be unveiled on Tuesday, posted on the Rule Committee website by Wednesday and voted on by the House by Thursday and then sent to the Senate for debate and wrap-up.
It is expected that the next CR will extend into late April perhaps as late as April 28. That will mean the next Congress will also have to finish spending decisions for this year but such a third CR will also serve as another significant tool for the Trump Administration and Congress to make additional programmatic and spending cuts.
The current CR includes an across-the-board cut of one-half of one percent. The next CR could do the same. It is also possible that that cut will not extended to allow for defense spending increases. In that case the across-the-board cut could go higher and be limited to domestic spending.
In addition to the across the board cuts, non-defense discretionary spending is already severely restrained. Congress needs to provide a $3.5 billion increase in Veteran’s spending. That funding comes not from the Defense Department budget but domestic spending. That would place even greater pressure on a range of HHS programs including child welfare.
The President has not yet indicated his intentions. It is possible the President could veto a CR if it includes particularly objectionable provisions. Republican leaders are likely to leave anything controversial in since they will have a new Congress to implement provisions they have tried to implement through appropriations riders in the past.