The White House announced that President Trump had signed the continuing resolution passed by Congress to fund Federal agencies through December 20, averting a government shutdown.

The bill, signed in the evening of November 21, also includes provisions to fund a 3.1 percent pay raise for military personnel and additional funding for the Census Bureau ahead of the 2020 Decennial Census. The continuing resolution made it through Congress on a somewhat bipartisan manner, with 74 senators and 231 house members voting to keep the government funded.

With the extension in place, lawmakers can continue to negotiate on funding levels for fiscal year 2020 budgets. The news of the continuing resolution was met with praise from Federal unions, but with a note of consternation about the process.

“These constant short-term budget fixes wouldn’t work for any other business or organization in the United States. Agencies need a full-year budget for 2020 so that they can do critical planning and continue delivering essential services to the American people. Congress must use the next month wisely to complete and pass full-year appropriations bills for all our government agencies,” said Everett Kelley, national secretary of the American Federation of Government Employees.

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MeriTalk Staff