Shutdown Averted; House Clears CR For President’s Signature
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 – 9:58 p.m.
The U.S. House of Representatives just voted, 342 to 85, to concur in the Senate amendment to the bill H.R. 5325. This vote by the House has the effect of clearing the nine-week continuing appropriations resolution (CR) for President Obama’s signature, which will most certainly be forthcoming before the deadline at the end of fiscal year 2016 at midnight Friday night. This will avert a lapse-of-appropriations partial government shutdown at least until December 9 (the expiration date of the 70-day CR).
We know that the President will sign the bill into law because, at long last, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy late this afternoon saying so. (This after a profile in courage announcement last Friday by the White House press secretary that it was unclear whether or not the President would sign the bill into law.)
The bill provides an estimated $288.3 billion in appropriations, to wit:
Earlier this evening, at 6:21 p.m., the House passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (H.R. 5303) by a vote of 399 to 25 after adopting an amendment authorizing $170 million in future appropriations to deal with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan by a vote of 284 to 141. ETW has updated its list of amendments adopted and rejected (with links to amendment text in every case) and it is here.
After the CR vote, the House was scheduled to hold one or two more votes on other items and then leave town for six weeks. (The Senate left this afternoon.) No more votes or other legislative actions by Congress are expected between now and November 15. During that November-December “lame duck” session, the House and Senate will have to (a.) finish work on the other eleven year-long appropriations bills for fiscal 2017 (including all the ones for transportation and infrastructure programs) and (b.) hopefully reconcile the House and Senate versions of the water resources bill.
Tomorrow at some point we will publish a full September wrap-up issue of Eno Transportation Weekly with much more detail on the debates on the CR and the WRDA bill and many, many other legislative wrap-up items. But for now, we are tired of watching C-SPAN. (Much less C-SPAN2.)