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Government Shutdown Heads Toward End

January 22, 2018

Following a three-day shutdown, the federal government is expected to resume operations again today with Congress' anticipated passage of another continuing resolution (CR). This CR-the fourth to date for the FY18 budget-would fund federal agencies through February 8.

During the three additional weeks that would be funded by this latest CR, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers are hoping to reach an agreement on the immigration issues currently dividing them. A solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients is chief among most Democratic legislators concerns, particularly as DACA litigation builds and the program's March 5 termination date approaches. Although many Republicans still argue that immigration discussions should not be tied to budget negotiations, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) insisted that Republicans commit to either reaching an agreement on DACA or proceeding to a legislative debate on immigration issues by February 8 before Democrats would offer their votes to pass the CR.

During the shutdown, many in the higher education community had serious concerns about what a longer or future shutdown would mean for college and university campuses. Though federal student aid for the 2017-18 school year has already been awarded, and Pell Grants are unaffected by shutdowns, the Department of Education's contingency plan included over 90 percent of its workforce being furloughed and any ongoing civil rights investigations being put on hold. Additionally, peer review and new grant award activities at federal research agencies would have halted and ongoing payments of already-awarded research funds would pause as long as the shutdown continued.


Megan Schneider
Assistant Director, Federal Affairs