Congress Avoids Shutdown, Passes Continuing Resolution

With hours to spare before the next federal fiscal year start of October 1, President Biden signed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) bill to fund the federal government and avoid a partial shutdown. Shortly before that, the House passed the bill that the Senate advanced just the day before. The bill extends funding at current levels through December 16, which means a potential shutdown arises once again in a matter of weeks. But the CR buys lawmakers time to negotiate a larger funding package and punts the issue beyond the mid-term elections where control of Congress will be decided for the 118th Session.

Despite avoiding a shutdown, the effort to pass the CR was not short on drama. Going into the week, there was a laundry list of items hoping to find their way on the must-pass bill. Among the items that made it: a reauthorization of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user fee agreements that prevents the need for FDA to institute furloughs of certain employees, over $18B for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to respond to current and future disasters, and $12B for Ukraine. The items that were not as lucky and left out: an administration request for just over $22B for COVID-19 and Monkeypox response, and a provision to streamline the permitting process for energy projects pushed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).