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Congress Clears CR, Zika Funding, Prevents Government Shutdown

On September 28, Congress approved H.R. 5325, as amended, a bill to fund the programs within the FY2017 Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bill (H.R. 2577); provide funds to combat the Zika virus; and fund the government through December 9. President Obama signed the measure on September 29.

The bill incorporates $82.3 billion in discretionary funds for programs within H.R. 2577. This amount is $2.5 billion more than FY2016 and $372 million below the president’s FY2017 budget request. The House approved the conference report for H.R. 2577 on June 23 (see The Source, 6/24/16).

The measure contains a continuing resolution (CR) that continues through December 9 federal funding for programs within the outstanding eleven spending bills. The CR holds spending at the same level as FY2016 and adheres to spending caps established by the Bipartisan Budget Act (P.L. 114-74). To date, Congress has not completed work on the following FY2017 bills: State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies (see The Source, 7/15/16); Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (see The Source, 7/15/16); Financial Services and General Government (see The Source, 7/8/16); Defense (see The Source, 6/17/16); Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (see The Source, 5/27/16); Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (see The Source, 5/27/16); Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Rural Development, and Related Agencies (see The Source, 5/20/16); and Legislative Branch (see The Source, 5/20/16).

H.R. 5325 allocates $1.1 billion of emergency funding to combat the Zika virus. Funding for community health centers or clinics operated by Planned Parenthood is not restricted; however, it may not be used for elective abortion services, in compliance with the Hyde Amendment.

Among other provisions, the legislation also provides funding for programs established by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (P.L. 114-198) that address the opioid drug abuse epidemic.

 

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