U.S. Senate passes short-term appropriations bill to prevent a government shutdown,
now U.S. House of Representatives must swiftly act
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate passed a 10-week continuing resolution (CR)
to fund the federal government through December 9 and avert a partial government
shutdown at the end of the week.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, was among the 72
U.S. Senators who voted in favor of the stop-gap spending package, which was
approved on a bipartisan vote of 72-26.
The package includes the FY2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs
(MilCon-VA) Appropriations Bill and also provides $1.1 billion in supplemental
funding to combat the Zika virus and temporary funding to help combat the nationwide
opioid epidemic. It also makes $500 million available to address immediate disaster
recovery needs in Louisiana and other states. An agreement was also reached to
allow federal aid for Flint, Michigan to be provided in the final conference report
for the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Earlier this month, the Senate
passed a version of the WRDA bill that included $300 million to address the lead
contamination epidemic in Flint, Michigan, and elsewhere in the country. The U.S.
House of Representatives committed to holding a vote on an amendment authorizing
$170 million for the Flint water crisis, which is expected to pass on a bipartisan
«I am pleased we were able to reach bipartisan consensus and avoid another costly
government shutdown. But I am troubled that Congress continues this recent pattern
of avoiding meaningful, bipartisan talks to fix our finances and waiting until the
last moment to deal with issues everyone knows must be addressed. It is also
dispiriting that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have forced the people
of Flint to wait for assistance. This stop-gap funding measure is far from perfect,
but it contains critical resources for Rhode Island and other states. It has money
to begin to address the Zika outbreak and recent disasters, and will help make good
on our commitment to veterans,» said Reed. «We have an obligation to the American
people to keep our government working. So I hope Congress can get to work and all
my colleagues can come together, build consensus, and then do something more than
just keep the lights on. We must invest across the board in our people and
Reed also expressed disappointment that Republicans insisted on including a rider in
the bill to block the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from taking action to
increase transparency in public companies’ political spending.
Now that it has passed the full U.S. Senate, the CR must be approved by the U.S.
House of Representatives.
Congress will return in mid-November in what is known as a «lame-duck session» to
pass an appropriations bill and prevent another shutdown showdown on December 9.