US Congress House side Shutterstock photo ID: 156615524 By mdgn editorial use only

Stopgap funding bill passes House

House lawmakers passed a stopgap funding bill to avoid an Oct. 1 government shutdown. The bill, which passed by a vote of 301-123, keeps the government open until Nov. 21.

The move comes as the clock is winding down on the current fiscal year.

The House has passed 10 of 12 appropriations bills. The Senate is moving its bills through committee with floor action in the offing, but with about a week left on the legislative calendar, there isn't time to conference the two sets of bills with differing policies and priorities before the start of the new fiscal year. Additionally, floor action in the Senate is being stalled because of disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over funding for the proposed border wall with Mexico.

The House measure won overwhelming bipartisan support, including from the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee.

"It is unfortunate that we are in this situation and have to pass this [continuing resolution] to keep the government open, but we cannot afford an unnecessary and costly shutdown," Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) said.

The stopgap funding bill includes a $48 million funding boost to the Office of Personnel Management to prevent a threatened budget shortfall resulting from the transfer of the National Background Investigations Bureau to the Defense Department.

The bill also continues a spending "anomaly" that lets the Census Bureau spend money at an accelerated tempo needed to prevent hiccups in the preparations for the 2020 population enumeration.

The Senate is expected to take up a continuing resolution next week. On Sept. 18, Senate Appropriations vice chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called the release of the bill a "welcome development" and said he would "urge the Senate to take up this bill and pass it next week and allow the Committee more time to negotiate bipartisan bills to implement the bipartisan budget agreement reached in July."

Reader comments

Mon, Sep 30, 2019

It is unfortunate that this administration and all the administrations before (Clinton, Obama, Bush Jr) all have destroyed civil service benefits, retirement plans, COLAs and morale. They are so out of touch since they live expense free, get great benefits and pay and then turn around and freeze COLAs and attempt to reduce benefits that were part of enticement for becoming a civil servant. My advice is if you can retire, none of the presidential candidates have shown any interest in protecting civil servants interests. Vote carefully unless you want more of this contempt doled out by the administration in power. Also the unions are worthless and have sided with management.

Wed, Sep 25, 2019

60% chance it doesn't pass the Senate. 50% chance Trump doesn't sign it. Because nothing gets passed, this is one of the few chances folks have to make a statement.

Tue, Sep 24, 2019

Retirement is great, even if the elected congressional/senate minions and political appointees cannot get a budget passed, the retirement check always arrives at a certain day.

Tue, Sep 24, 2019

If we get rid of most congress and senate, impose term limits and cut their pay over 90% funding would become a less of an issue. Appropriations would be passed and the government would function. Time to get rid of career and career to be politicians such as McConnel, Pelosi, Schumer, Cortez and the band of do nothing lazy inept minions who pretend they are running the country.

Tue, Sep 24, 2019 Bobby

This is the kind of crap that keeps happening that finally convinced me to retire!

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