As you may recall, a few weeks ago Congress passed legislation to increase sequester spending levels for domestic and defense spending for both fiscal years (FY) 2016 and 2017. The now-enacted measure also raised the debt ceiling until March 2017; however, it did not include FY16 spending funds for individual federal agencies. With current funding set to expire this Friday, Congress must act in order to prevent a government shutdown due to a lapse in appropriations.
Congressional leadership and the administration have been in negotiations regarding an omnibus appropriations measure that would fund federal agencies for the remainder of FY16. However, with only three days left to enact funding legislation to avoid a shutdown, Congress has not reached agreement on various controversial policy riders, and will need to move a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) in order to prevent a shutdown.
Earlier this morning at a news conference, Speaker Ryan (R-WI) discussed possibly moving a short-term CR that “will be a handful of days” long in order to allow for an omnibus spending measure to continue to be negotiated.
Once again, the nation finds itself a mere handful of days from a government shutdown. We know that getting so close to these funding deadlines is especially nerve-wracking for federal employees who start to worry whether or not they will be paid and remain on the job. NTEU strongly supports Senator Cardin’s (D-MD) Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act, S. 2035, that would ensure that all federal employees would be paid in the event of a shutdown—both individuals required to work unpaid and those furloughed—and would allow those remaining on the job to continue to take leave.
We will keep you posted on further congressional developments this week related to FY16 agency funding.