Congress Approves Continuing Resolution
On Sept. 18, the Senate passed by a vote of 78 to 22 the House-passed continuing resolution (CR), H.J. Res. 124. The CR continues funding all federally funded programs through Dec. 11, 2014, at slightly below FY 2014 funding levels, on an annualized basis. The House passed the CR on Sept. 17.
Congress needed to approve a CR or other funding legislation to avoid a government shutdown when FY 2015 begins on Oct. 1 because it has not yet enacted any FY 2015 appropriations bills. The CR includes no anomalies, or funding adjustments, for HUD or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rural housing programs.
However, the bill does include several changes to existing law, which the House Appropriations Committee press release accompanying the CR says, “are needed to prevent catastrophic, irreversible, or detrimental changes to government programs, to address current national or global crises, or to ensure good government.” Anomalies in the CR include additional funding to help fight the Ebola crisis and to process disability claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and provisions providing a continuation of current funding for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program and an extension of authority, through June 30, 2015, for the Export-Import Bank.