You can be forgiven if you slept through the latest government shutdown. For the second time this (calendar) year, the U.S. Government was shutdown, albeit short lived. After the weekend shutdown last month, funding for non-essential services ran out at midnight on February 8th. No fear, however, as final passage of a funding bill came just over 5 hours later on the morning of February 9th.
The Bipartisan Budget Act, now heading to President Trump’s desk, will place agencies on their fifth continuing resolution of fiscal 2018, giving lawmakers until March 23 to set line-by-line appropriations for agencies across government.
The forthcoming omnibus spending bill would give appropriators an additional $63 billion for non-defense agencies, allocating a total $579 billion for fiscal 2018 for domestic agencies. Defense spending would increase by $80 billion. In fiscal 2019, non-defense spending would increase by $68 billion to $597 billion.
With any luck, we won't have to deal with another shutdown for two years.
To appease Democrats, who are demanding a solution for dealing with the status of immigrants whose protective status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will soon expire, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), promised to hold a series of votes on a variety of proposals on the subject. In the House, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has promised to bring to the floor any measure President Donald Trump would sign, a caveat that led many Democrats to oppose the spending agreement.