Congress Passes FY 2017 Stopgap Funding Bill

The Senate recently approved a House-passed continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government funded through April 28, 2017, and sent it to President Obama’s desk for signature. The CR was approved by a vote of 63 to 36 in the Senate and 326 to 96 in the House.

The CR funds most federal programs at FY 2016 levels, and adheres as a whole to the $1.07 trillion spending ceiling allowed for FY 2017 by the two-year budget agreement Congress passed last year. However, the CR includes an across-the-board cut of 0.19 percent to funding levels for defense and non-defense programs in order stay within the FY 2017 spending cap.

Most HUD programs are funded at their FY 2016 levels minus the small across-the-board cut. In addition, the CR provides approximately $1.8 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster funds to help communities rebuild and repair damages caused by Hurricane Matthew and severe flooding that occurred in Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia, and elsewhere. These disaster funds supplement the $500 million that the first FY 2017 CR directed HUD to allocate "in the most impacted and distressed areas" that experienced presidentially declared disasters in 2016.

The legislation also provides $170 million to help address lead contamination in Flint's drinking water. Of that amount, $15 million will go to the Centers for Disease Control's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention program to conduct screenings and referrals for children with elevated blood lead levels.

Congress now has until April 28 to either pass final FY 2017 spending bills or a full-year CR to keep the federal government operating to the end of FY 2017 on Sept. 30.