Congress Introduces CR for FY 2017

December 6, 2016 - Congressional leaders have announced another Continuing Resolution (CR) that will keep the federal government in operation until April 28, 2016 at FY 2016 levels of funding (H.R. 2028).  Both houses are expected to adopt it this week and President Obama has indicated that he will sign it.  With respect to state and local air quality grants under the Clean Air Act, the CR provides continued funding at the rate of $228.2 million, which was the amount appropriated in FY 2016. The CR does not include any of the controversial riders or provisions that would have affected air pollution control programs that were included in the House and Senate bills considered this past summer. The CR does add $170 million to address the lead water problems in Flint, Michigan.  The previous CR, adopted on September 28, 2016, provided funding at FY 2016 levels through December 9, 2016.  A CR was necessary to keep the federal government in operation beyond the end of the federal fiscal year – September 30, 2016 – because Congress has not adopted the individual funding bills to provide resources for federal operations (including EPA’s budget) in FY 2017.  The latest CR delays budget decisions in order to provide the new Congress, which begins in January 2017, with an opportunity to weigh in on the federal budget for the remainder of FY 2017 (ending September 30, 2017).  While the House originally favored a shorter-term CR ending in March 2017, the Senate requested additional time due to the expected workload related to confirmation of incoming Administration nominees.