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CR until February 18

The House and Senate have agreed to pass a continuing resolution (CR), which would keep the federal government open and funded, until February 18, 2022. Congress has previously passed a CR that expires at midnight on Friday, December 3, 2021.

The extension gives the House and Senate additional time to finish FY2022 funding and try to pass other legislative priorities, like Build Back Better and raise the debt ceiling, before the end of the calendar year.

While the extension is not happy news, there had been political rumblings of allowing the federal government to shut down for a short time in December for political gains. The CR until February 18, 2022 avoids that situation.

The legislation would be a straight extension of existing funding with the only increase in appropriations for Afghan refugees.

House Appropriations Committee Passes FY 2019 Energy & Water

The House Appropriations Committee approved its $44.7 billion FY 2019 Energy &Water spending bill, 29-20, after Republican lawmakers beat back efforts by Democrats to eliminate policy riders. Generally, bill would provide $6.6 billion for the DOE Office of Science, a 5% increase above FY 2018. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) would receive $325 million, an 8% cut below FY 2018, and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would receive $2.1 billion, a 9 percent cut from the FY 2018 enacted levels.

The Administration proposed a nearly 66-percent cut in renewable energy and energy efficiency research along with the elimination of ARPA-E.

The bill now heads to the House floor where it is poised for consideration in the coming weeks as one of the first few appropriations bills in the FY 2019 spending cycle.

The committee report can be found here.

Senate Appropriations Sets Ambitious Schedule

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released a calendar that puts the spending panel on track to finish all the fiscal 2019 bills by June 29. Both Shelby and Leahy  are aiming to bring each bill to the floor — for the first time in years — by promising amendment votes to allow for a robust floor debate.

The schedule is as follows:

Week of May 21-25: Energy-Water and Agriculture-FDA

Week of June 4-8: Transportation-HUD and Military Construction-VA

Week of June 11-15: Interior-Environment, Commerce-Justice-Science and Legislative Branch

Week of June 18-22: State-Foreign Operations, Homeland Security and Financial Services.

Week of June 25-29: Defense and Labor-HHS-Education

The House Appropriations Committee has already begun consideration and mark up of the House version of these measures.