Federal Lawmakers Agree on Plan to Prevent Government Shutdown While Separately Negotiating Coronavirus Stimulus Package 

Situation Report | September 28, 2020

Last week, federal lawmakers and the Trump Administration agreed to a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown this week through December 11. The new federal fiscal year begins October 1. Previously, lawmakers were unable to reach agreement on the annual spending bills required to keep government funding through October 1.

The House voted to approve the bill Tuesday, followed by the Senate’s action to advance the measure on Thursday. A final vote is expected in the near future. Following the passage of a stopgap spending bill and coronavirus relief package, Congress is still expected to return during the lame-duck session to approve the annual spending bills.

In most instances, the stopgap spending legislation maintains current spending levels. However, it includes billions of dollars for agricultural and nutritional assistance.

The bill also includes a provision that would prevent an increase in Medicare premiums. It would also prevent furloughs, extend funding for a flood insurance program, and include funding for a highway construction and maintenance program.

The legislation would afford lawmakers more time to negotiate spending through September 2021 as it relates to health care, military, airport and border security, national park and space programs.

The stopgap spending bill does not include additional coronavirus stimulus language. However, lawmakers expect that a deal on a coronavirus relief package will be reached in the coming days.

Some moderate Democrats are considering signing onto a Republican-led effort that would force a vote on a federal loan program for small businesses. However, this situation remains fluid, and would need the support of 218 lawmakers.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is still pushing federal lawmakers to include funding for states. With New York’s budget gap growing due to the pandemic, localities, including New York City, have asked state lawmakers to provide them with the authority to borrow. The Governor disagrees with the prospect of long-term borrowing for municipalities and says he remains hopeful that New York State will receive additional federal relief.

For questions or concerns about the status of the state and federal budget measures, please contact HCA’s Director for Public Policy Alyssa Lovelace.