Congress Passes Funding Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown

On Thursday, December 7, Congress passed another continuing resolution (CR) for two weeks that should prevent a government shutdown at midnight Friday, December 8, assuming President Trump signs the bill (which he is expected to do). But more work is needed on a long-term budget deal, as Democrats want parity between increases for defense spending and discretionary spending while Republicans want larger increases for defense spending. A budget deal could be completed within the next two weeks or could drag into early 2018, which would require another short-term CR. Lots of deal-making could occur between now and December 22 (the end of latest CR) in order to push the budget deal to the finish line.
It is expected that the Administration’s budget proposal in early 2018 for FY 19 will be more realistic than the budget proposal earlier this year, with smaller budget cuts being proposed for some federal agencies such as EPA. So what does all of this Hill action mean long-term for drinking water programs such as PWSS and DWSRF? Given the latest reading of the tea leaves, funding is expected to be flat for these two programs for the next year or two, noting that changes can still happen quickly in this political environment. But the “pass-through” funding for state environmental programs, including drinking water, seems to be stable for the moment.