Congressional leaders released language this week for a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) that will avert a government shutdown at midnight on Friday when current agency appropriations are set to lapse. This CR, the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 2028) will keep federal agencies running at their current funding levels through April 28, 2017 though agencies will absorb an across-the-board cut of 0.1901%. The measure includes additional funding for defense and other foreign operations as well as emergency natural disaster relief; however, it maintains the discretionary budget cap level of $1.07 trillion set under the Budget Control Act of 2011. The President-elect requested the end of April deadline from Congress, so that the new Administration will have time to craft budgetary and spending plans, and so that the U.S. Senate can focus on Presidential nominations at the beginning of 2017.
The CR remains silent on a January 2017 pay raise for federal employees under the General Schedule, meaning that the President’s Alternative Pay Plans for an average raise of 2.1% will likely go into effect.