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Legislative Updates

Government funding secure through December 20

Following the House and Senate passage of a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through December 20, the President signed the CR into law this evening thereby averting a third government shutdown under his presidency. This is the second CR Congress has passed since the start of fiscal year (FY) 2020 in order to give appropriators and leadership more time to resolve their differences on long-term funding.

On Tuesday, the House voted 231 to 192 to approve the measure, which then went to the Senate where it was advanced 74 to 20 earlier today.

Included in the CR were provisions to keep the Export-Import Bank open through Dec. 20, allow the Census Bureau to spend money at a higher rate to prepare for the 2020 head count, prevent an automatic cut to highway funding next year, and give the military a 3.1 percent pay increase. Congress now has just under a month to negotiate long-term funding differences, which include the President’s demands to fund a border wall, 302(b) allocations, and more.

"Border wall is going to have to be resolved before we get some type of legislation," said Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL). "Now, border wall is not directly connected, but indirectly, to the allocations."

The House and Senate will be back home in their respective districts and states next week for the Thanksgiving break, giving them just three in-session weeks to find common ground. That may be too much of an ask, which may require them to pass yet another CR to take us into February or March of 2020. With ongoing House impeachment proceedings followed by a potential Senate trial potentially dragging into January 2020, this leaves very little space for a long-term funding deal or other legislative priorities and proceedings in an already contentious Congress.

NALC will be sure to keep letter carriers informed of any movement on funding.

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