Update on Government Funding for Fiscal Year 2022
SUMMARY: With government funding set to expire on Thursday night, the Senate failed to advance the House-passed Continuing Resolution that would fund agencies through December 3 and suspend the debt limit.
With days before government funding expires with the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1, government leaders appear to be at a stalemate as the Senate failed to advance the House-passed Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 5305, that would extend funding until December 3, ensure funding for CBP to replace user fee shortfalls due to the pandemic, allow additional funding to agencies to prevent furloughs if necessary, and suspend the debt limit through December 16, 2022. On a mostly party-line vote of 48-50, Senate Republicans blocked consideration of the bill since it included a provision to suspend the debt limit, which they have objected to for months. Republicans offer a motion to pass a clean CR without the debt limit, but it was objected to. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who switched his vote from aye to nay for procedural reasons in order to bring up the bill for reconsideration at a later date, stated after the vote that “Keeping the government open and preventing a default is vital to our country’s future. And we’ll be taking further action to prevent this from happening this week.”
As you know, the debt limit is the total amount of money that the US government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. It does not authorize new spending commitments, but rather allows the government to finance existing legal obligations that Congresses and presidents of both parties have made in the past. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen informed Congress that the federal government will run out of borrowing authority sometime in October. Without an agreement to either raise or suspend the debt ceiling, the Treasury will be unable to continue paying the nation’s bills and the federal government will have to at least temporarily default on many of its obligations.
Last week, the Office of Management and Budget alerted agencies of the possibility of a government shutdown due to the forthcoming expiration of government funding. While OMB states that it is routine to alert agencies a week out from the expiration date, it is unacceptable to be contemplating yet another government shutdown, especially during a global pandemic.
As Congress continues negotiations, NTEU will continue to urge Congress and the White House to act quickly to keep the government open and ensure the full faith and credit of the United States. I will keep you updated on these developments. For more information click here.
Anthony M. Reardon