House Passes Continuing Resolution and Water Bill

A four-month continuing resolution (CR) passed the House today by a 326-96 vote, and must be finalized by tomorrow to avert a government shutdown. The CR funds federal agencies through April 28 with additional dollars for a few urgent needs such as natural disaster relief and war operations, and $7 million for New York City law enforcement for protecting President-elect Trump while he is in Manhattan (New York lawmakers and officials requested $35 million). Democrats and Republicans both expressed disappointment about passing another CR rather than an omnibus package for the remainder of fiscal year 2017. The Senate will now consider the CR, but there are threats to its passage which may result in a government shutdown over the weekend. Congress has until midnight tomorrow night to pass this CR before current appropriations expire.

The House also passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN; previously known as the WRDA bill) by a 360-61 vote today. The House Rules Committee attempted to add an amendment making the one-year “Buy America” provision permanent, but it was rejected in a 3-8 vote. However, an addition was made Monday to provide relief for California’s drought. The bill authorizes $170 million for Flint, MI, which was appropriated though the CR, and nearly $11.7 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to improve water infrastructure. The House Rules Committee approved a single closed rule for both the CR and WIIN Act by voice vote, allowing no amendments to be made on the floor. Senator Boxer (D-CA) has threatened to block the bill in the Senate over provisions that would waive environmental review regulations on projects related to drought relief in her state.

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