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Congress Passes Continuing Resolution to Prevent Government Shutdown

December 14, 2016

With just an hour left before the midnight deadline, the Senate passed a new continuing resolution (CR) on Friday, December 9, to extend funding for federal government operations and prevent a government shutdown. The CR, which allows much of the government to operate at current spending levels until April 28 of next year, was signed into law by President Obama shortly after its passage.

Many legislators initially opposed the idea of passing another stop-gap budget measure instead of finalizing the official budget, which has been under development since October, but congressional Republicans warmed to the idea of passing another CR following President-elect Donald Trump's victory as the temporary measure will allow appropriators to finish the FY17 budget in the new Congress with a Republican administration in place. Work on the FY18 budget is set to begin shortly after work on FY17's is completed, likely in late spring of next year.  

Among its many provisions, the CR provides $170 million to address the water crisis in Flint, Mich., and allocates $4.1 billion in emergency funds in response to recent major flood and hurricane damage in Southern coastal states. The CR still leaves in question, however, what final federal student aid appropriations will be for 2017-18; the current maximum award for Pell Grants during that academic year is yet to be determined.


Liz Clark
Senior Director, Federal Affairs