HomeWashington Letter2017 ▶ Congress Passes Short-term Spending Measure, Punting Final 2018 Spending
Congress Passes Short-term Spending Measure, Punting Final 2018 Spending

Congress passed a short-term fiscal year (FY) 2018 measure that funds all government programs, including the NIH and CDC at current funding levels, averting a government shutdown just before the deadline of midnight on December 22. The President is expected to sign the legislation, known as a continuing resolution (CR), into law following passage by each chamber. Enactment of the FY2018 measure will punt government spending for 2018, including NIH and CDC funding, to January, with a new deadline of January 19, 2018 for final resolution.  Under the measure, the government spending bill includes temporary funding extensions for the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers, both of which expired at the end of September 2017, but in order to pay for these programs, it cuts funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund sharply by about 20 percent over 4 years. The Fund is a key source of funding for state and local tobacco cessation and education programs and other chronic disease prevention initiatives.

Senate leaders had intended to include a measure to restore the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reductions for health insurers, which were ended by President Trump in October, in the FY2018 spending measure, but it was removed following opposition from House Conservatives. Senate Majority Leader McConnell had promised this and other measures to create reinsurance programs to cover costs for people with expensive pre-existing conditions to Sen. Collins in exchange for her vote for the tax bill.  If the insurer CSR’s are not restored, more instability in the individual insurance market is expected in 2018.

Last Reviewed: December 22, 2017