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Continuing Resolution Stalls in Senate

On September 24, the Senate blocked, 47-52, H.J. Res. 61, a resolution to keep the federal government funded through December 11. Fiscal year 2015 ends on September 30. To date, Congress has not completed work on the 12 appropriations bills: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (see The Source, 7/17/15); Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (see The Source, 6/5/15); Defense (see The Source, 6/12/15); Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government (see The Source, 7/24/15); Homeland Security; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (see The Source, 6/26/15); Legislative Branch; Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (see The Source, 5/22/15); State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (see The Source, 7/10/15); and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (see The Source, 6/26/15).

H.J. Res. 61 would cap discretionary spending in FY2016 at $1.017 trillion, the level established by the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25). The FY2016 spending level includes $74.7 billion in overseas contingency operations, which is $17 billion more than President Obama requested. The resolution caps non-defense and defense spending at $493.5 billion and $523.1 billion, respectively. In FY2015, non-defense spending was capped at $492.4 billion, while defense spending was capped at $521.3 billion.

Funding for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates would be banned for one year, unless the organization certifies that it will not perform or fund abortions. H. J. Res. 61 would allocate $235 million to community health centers to cover the costs of health services PPFA would have provided.

President Obama has threatened to veto a resolution that bans funding for PPFA. Next week, the Senate is expected to consider a “clean” version of the measure, which does not contain the PPFA provision.

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