Congress Poised to Pass Short-Term Continuing Resolution

Amid strong objections from senators in both parties, House Republicans have committed to passing another short-term continuing resolution (CR) before the current CR expires on December 9. By passing a CR that runs through March 2017, Republicans will be able to negotiate the final FY 2017 budget deal with President-Elect Trump instead of President Obama. This decision was made after Trump’s transition team expressed interest in providing input into the FY 2017 spending bills and after Speaker Ryan personally made the case for a short-term bill.

An extended CR poses risks to housing programs and the families receiving housing assistance. Both the House and Senate had approved FY 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bills that included critical funding increases for Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance to cover the costs of renewing existing contracts, as well as increases for other housing programs. Delaying new appropriations bills until March suspends these funding increases for at least several months and perhaps eliminates them, depending on the funding levels agreed upon in the final bills. The FY 2017 spending bills are now more likely to be negotiated under lower budgetary caps for non-defense discretionary programs, and may also be more likely to contain controversial policy “riders.”

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