Congress Approves Federal Funding Extension

By Laura Walling, Vice President of Government Affairs, Goodwill Industries International

Congress averted a partial government shutdown again, and this time we have mother nature to thank in part. With a snowstorm in the DC area impacting lawmakers’ ability to return home, the Senate and House passed a stopgap funding measure on the same day, pushing the January 19 and February 2 shutdown deadlines to March 1 and 8.  With two prior continuing resolutions enacted, lawmakers are hopeful that this will be the final stopgap spending measure. A topline $1.66 trillion topline figure was agreed to by leadership, and appropriators have been meeting regularly to determine how the topline will be divided among the twelve annual bills.

In addition to passing the funding measure, the House Budget Committee approved a bill to create a fiscal commission responsible for producing legislation to stabilize the debt and firm support for Social Security and Medicare. Key members would like to attach this measure to a final funding measure. Lawmakers must also agree on other policy riders and community funded projects.

While the House canceled votes on Friday, Ways and Means Committee Members remained in town to markup a bipartisan tax package introduced this week. The nearly $80 billion package revives some expired business tax breaks, boosts the child tax credit, and expands the low-income housing tax credit. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, in the first year, about 80% of children in low-income families who don’t receive the child tax credit would now benefit. With the low-income housing tax credit expansion, the legislation would reportedly help build more than 200,000 new affordable housing units. Champions for the nonprofit sector are also pushing for an expanded charitable giving incentive.

The House will be in recess the week of January 22, while the Senate will be in session. Majority Leader Schumer aims to bring up legislation pertaining to the border and supplemental funding for Ukraine as early as next week if text is ready.

We will continue to keep advocates informed as each of these issues advance.