Congress Working on Funding Agreement

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Jan 4, 2018

The government’s current spending authority is set to expire Jan. 19, 2018. Rather than settling on yet another continuing resolution (CR), Congressional leaders and Trump Administration officials are hoping to hammer out a spending bill that would fund the government through the end of the 2018 fiscal year.

As part of any spending deal, Democrats are demanding permanent protection from deportation for almost 800,000 so-called “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Trump has said that in March he would end the temporary program begun by former President Obama that is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

In addition to the Dreamers, a spending deal "must address a host of other items," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said. Among these are more money for domestic programs, reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and disaster relief to help residents of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands recover from hurricane damage.

Disagreements also remain over discretionary funding. Republicans want to increase defense spending by $54 billion this year and non-defense programs by $37 billion. Democrats want equal increases in both. Even if Congressional leaders reach a deal to lift the spending limits in the next two weeks, they might not have enough time to write all the spending items to carry the government through the rest of the fiscal year. This would mean another CR would be needed.

Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD will continue to monitor congressional budget negotiations and their potential impacts on key oral health programs.