Late last Friday, President Donald Trump signed the seven-week continuing resolution (CR) (HR 4378) that Senate lawmakers cleared last week prior to breaking for the Columbus Day district work period. The measure punts the impending government funding deadline until Nov. 21 and extends key expiring authorizations — including the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), and a slate of expiring health care programs.
Over the course of these next two weeks, House and Senate appropriations staff are expected to meet to try and reach an agreement on subcommittee allocations for each of the 12 measures. If they reach an agreement, they could begin “pre conferencing” the 12 fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills ahead of the Senate’s votes on the floor that are expected later in October. However, disagreements over border security and family planning policies — as well as the recent developments on impeachment — could complicate matters on the Labor-HHS-Education, Defense, Military Construction-VA, and Defense bills. As such, this two-week stretch of negotiations could prove to be critical for next steps in the government funding process.