It has been an exciting few weeks here in Washington, D.C. It started with the city in celebration mode to host the pope and ended with the Speaker of the House resigning and the House and Senate passing a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that avoided a government shutdown.
While the CR is only short-term it was necessary as Congress has yet to pass any of the 12 annual appropriations bills and send them to the president’s desk. As is the CR will continue to fund the government at fiscal year 2015 levels through December 11, 2015.
The current CR means that funding for programs and agencies important to the disability community, including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remain intact.
However, the looming December deadline still presents many reasons for us to remain watchful. In addition to carving out a larger and longer-term budget agreement that must address across the board cuts and extend past the 2016 elections, Congress must also address hitting the federal debt ceiling.
As for the new speaker of the house, it is likely to be Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). However, many members are running for the other key positions in the leadership. What is clear is that no matter who is nominated, they will surely have a full plate to deal with.
Here at UCP, we will continue to monitor the discussions and update you as the process proceeds.