Select Site 


Slouching Towards a Possible Government Shutdown (Again)

While the Congress is consumed with a host of end of year activities including tax reform, several fiscal cliffs, nominations and sexual harassment allegations and reforms, there is one major function that is an absolute must do:  Fund the federal government! 

Even though Fiscal Year 2018 began months ago on October 1st, none of the 12 funding bills have been signed into law and the government is currently operating under a temporary funding measure known as a continuing resolution (CR) that runs out on December 8th.  The main reason a funding package for FY18 remains incomplete is due to Congress's inability to agree on how much overall funding is available for the year.  While there is a significant chance the government may shutdown amid potential breakdowns in funding and tax negotiations due to democrats and republicans being so far apart ideologically, there is still hope. House majority leadership is currently pushing for a 2-week CR to avoid such a shutdown and buy time to negotiate a more long-term spending package that could set top line funding levels for the rest of this year and potentially for next year. 

The measure, a simple date change on funding, would span from December 8th to December 22nd and would allow for only a brief window within which to negotiate. This means that all current funding anomalies and extensions would remain unchanged and would continue until December 22, including the extension of funding for the Flood Insurance Program. An additional provision will likely be included to allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to give states that are running out of Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funds to use other sources of available funds to insure the CHIP program operates through the end of the calendar year, December 31.

In terms of a final funding measure there is much to be decided.  Aside from the 12 regular appropriations bills, Congress must respond to the needs that have arisen out of the hurricanes in the Gulf and other disasters that have pressed the limits of FEMA and other state, local and federal disaster management resources. Further topline funding levels must be set for all discretionary spending across defense and non-defense discretionary programs.  Both parties are in negotiations to potentially increase total funding authority for defense and non-defense by $54 billion and $37 billion respectively in FY18 and FY19.  Such a deal would break the agreement on parity between defense and non-defense discretionary that has been so important to Democrats the past few years.

However, as negotiations progress, it is clear that both sides must consider how much they are willing to compromise to provide for their constituencies.  A shutdown impacts the ability of all levels of government and frankly commerce to progress, as with seemingly all government actions the most vulnerable stand to be significantly impacted jeopardizing federal assistance programs, and trickling down to impact Community Based Organizations and AIDS Service Organizations that depend on government funding to do much of their work.  Whatever the outcome of funding negotiations, it is clear that programs like the Ryan White Program, Prevention efforts at CDC, the Minority AIDS Initiatives which have all been operating at either level funding or under cuts can no longer bear the brunt of the burden.  On World AIDS Day of all days, it is clear that as the White House and Congress seek to honor those who have died from this epidemic, it is time they put their money where their mouth is.  Adequately fund the National Response to HIV, fund the safety net that keeps people alive, and protect our Healthcare. 

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, December 01, 2017

comment Comments (0)

Type the code below into the textbox.

No comments added!

An AIDS-Free Generation
is possible.

We can't get there without you.

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today.

Thank you for contacting DC Web Designers. We will be in touch shortly.

ERROR: Message Not Sent!