The House is expected to pass a stop-gap spending bill that will keep the government funded through April 28th. This coincides with Trump’s request to Congressional leaders that they postpone the biggest spending decisions until he is in office.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said, “This legislation is just a band-aid, but a critical one.” Hypothetically, the band-aid will keep government funding at the same level, hence the term Continuing Resolution (CR). However, House leadership was able to finagle an $8 billion increase in Defense spending through the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget, which has been called a “slush fund”. Even Defense Secretary Ash Carter has deemed the OCO budget gimmick as a “road to nowhere.”
The last short-term CR that was passed in September included $500 million in flood relief funds, as well as a promise to revisit aid to communities suffering from contaminated drinking water. The new CR will include $4.1 billion for a more comprehensive flood relief package that will fund block grants to communities ravaged by flooding, projects aimed at mitigating future storm damage, as well as highway repairs.
Also included in the CR is appropriations for the 21st Century Cures Act. In exchange for an increase in funds for medical research, Republicans included regulatory rollbacks in the FDA aimed at speeding up the approval of drugs and medical devices.