Today on the Hill: Senate Advances Short-Term Spending Measure

December 20, 2018

Late yesterday evening, Senators moved to avert a partial government shutdown by passing a seven-week continuing resolution (CR) by voice vote. Despite a slight snag over reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Senate advanced the stopgap spending bill — which would extend government funding until February 8 for the nine federal departments and various agencies that have yet to be fully funded, as well as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program — after striking a deal with Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to have the lands package as one of the first items on the floor in the new Congress.

While the funding bill is expected to clear the House later this evening, House Republican leaders are struggling to unify conservatives who are dismayed over the lack of new border wall funding. Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), along with more than a dozen other conservatives, took to the House floor Wednesday night in a series of protest floor speeches seeking more money for the wall and urging President Trump to veto the measure if it hits his desk. Ultimately, the president’s support for the measure remains unclear as he continues to express his desire for a $5 billion border wall allocation.

Additional action on the House floor today includes consideration of the House GOP’s year-end tax bill (H.R. 88). With lawmakers likely to leave town until the beginning of the 116th Congress, it’s highly unlikely the measure will be enacted into law. House lawmakers will also look to clear 35 bills under suspension of the rules.