Before leaving for a Thanksgiving week recess, Congress passed, and the President signed, a four-week spending bill to extend the Continuing Resolution to December 20. In addition to keeping the government open, the measure also kept the Export-Import Bank open through that date, allowed the Census Bureau to spend money at a higher rate to prepare for the 2020 head count, prevented an automatic cut to highway funding next year, and provided the military with a 3.1% pay increase. The short-term spending measure was needed because Congress had not yet agreed on any of the 12 annual spending bills funding government agencies for FY20 that began October 1. Agreement on the year end spending package has been reached, with the 12 bills split into two smaller packages (“minibus”), combining eight bills in one package and four in the other, for up-or-down House and Senate floor votes. The House passed these packages December 18, with the Senate expected to do the same before sending them to President Trump for signature by Friday’s deadline.
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