With Midterms Over, Congress Focused on 2019 Funding

With the congressional midterms over, Congress is back for a lame duck session to wrap up government funding for the remainder of fiscal 2019.

Congress passed two large appropriations bills in September providing full-year funding for many federal agencies but not all.

Those agencies are currently operating under a continuing resolution that Congress passed. They include the IRS and other Department of Treasury Offices and Bureaus, CBP and FLETC, CFTC, EPA, FCC, portions of FDA, FEC, NPS, PTO, SEC and USDA. The stopgap funding measure expires Dec. 7, once again raising the threat of a full or partial shutdown for these federal agencies.

Also unresolved is the issue of a pay raise for federal employees in January. The Senate has approved a 1.9 percent increase for federal workers as part of its Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. The House passed its version of the measure but was silent on a possible pay increase. Work had begun on resolving the differences between the two but the conference committee did not complete its negotiations. Should Congress not act on a pay increase then the president’s pay freeze will go into effect.

NTEU will continue to press for adequate agency funding and a pay raise for federal employees, while also urging Congress to avoid a shutdown. The union will keep members updated as the appropriations process continues