Congress staved off a government shutdown by clearing a two-week continuing resolution, H.J. Res. 123 (115), on Dec. 7, that extends current government spending levels until Dec. 22. President Donald Trump endorsed the spending patch and is expected to sign it today, Dec. 8.
Lawmakers acknowledged that they will need another short-term bill to buy time for broader spending negotiations. During that time, congressional leaders will push for higher budget caps so that appropriators can allow the federal government to spend—in an omnibus bill—the $1 billion for highways, bridges and airports called for in the FAST Act. In these changes to government spending for FY2018, NSSGA is also supporting an increase to the cap for Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) from $4.50 to $8.50.
Republican lawmakers are expected to include deportation relief for DREAMers, a package of emergency assistance for hurricane and wildfire relief and an increase in overall spending totals for fiscal 2018 in order to get bi-partisan support for increased government spending. Without an omnibus, however, these changes are not possible.