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President Signs into Law Continuing Resolution to Avoid Government Shutdown

Eric House - Oct 01 2020
Published in: Public Policy
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives swiftly passed a continuing resolution by 359-57 and this week the Senate passed the bill by 84-10. The President has now signed the bill into law to avoid a government shutdown.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives swiftly passed a continuing resolution by 359-57, sending to the Senate a revised version of the measure to avoid a government shutdown, which was passed by 84-10. The President has now signed the bill into law. The continuing resolution extends current funding for all federal agencies through 11 December.

In early September, it was announced that Speaker of the House Nany Pelosi and Department of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin agreed upon a clean continuing resolution, which is “legislation in the form of a joint resolution enacted by Congress, before the new fiscal year (1 October) will begin, to provide budget authority for Federal agencies and programs to continue in operation until the regular appropriations acts are enacted.”

Once the agreement was made, legislation was sent to the House of Representatives who overwhelmingly voted in its favor. The Senate passed the continuing resolution by a vote of 84-10 and President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on 1 October. As there have been no agreements on any economic stimulus packages in the past few months, avoiding a government shutdown on 1 October ensures that the U.S. economy does not face another hurdle in its efforts to rebound from the pandemic.

While the continuing resolution ensures government funding in the midst of an ongoing pandemic and averts a total shutdown, the measure only extends funding for the U.S. government until 11 December. Results from this year’s presidential election will likely be finalized by then, after which the new Congress must work to guarantee continuous federal funding once again.

The continuing resolution also contained language to allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to adjust premium processing fees by the percentage of increase (if any) of the Consumer Price Index every other year, without engaging in notice and comment rulemaking. This could provide employers and individuals with more opportunities to pay U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for faster service.

How This Impacts Mobility

The continuing resolution is a crucial step in keeping the government from shutting down, which would impact funding for the federal agencies important to mobility, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and in this bill to DHS. While this is a positive step, further economic relief is still needed to aid businesses and workers as they continue to grapple with the economic fallout due to the Coronavirus. Worldwide ERC® will keep you updated on this matter, and should any member have questions, please reach out to Vice President, Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.