NSAC's Blog

Congress Extends 2014 Funding Levels through December 11

September 19, 2014

On Thursday, September 18, the Senate passed a short-term funding extension, known as a “continuing resolution” (CR), to fund the federal government through December 11.  The CR extends fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding levels as well as policy provisions known as appropriations “riders.”  The House passed this temporary funding measure earlier this week, and the bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

Visit our earlier post for a detailed account of the funding levels and riders contained in the FY 2014 appropriations package.

Congress uses CRs when it is unable to complete the task of passing new spending bills for the coming fiscal year.  Come mid- December, when the CR is set to expire, Congress will have several options to avoid another government shutdown:

  • Pass another CR to further extend FY 2014 funding levels into some point in the future;
  • Combine and pass all twelve of the FY 2015 appropriations bills as a single package, known as an “omnibus”; or
  • Pass what is known as a “minibus,” where new FY 2015 funding bills are written for some agencies and and a CR is written for others (typically those agencies that administer controversial regulations or programs).

Which approach Congress takes in December after the current CR expires is difficult to predict, and may be influenced by the upcoming congressional elections.  For example, if Republicans take control of the Senate in the November mid-term elections, Congressional Republicans may be inclined to attempt to stall the approval of a final FY15 bill into the new Congressional session (which begins on January 1).  This would allow the party more influence in determining next year’s funding priorities.

Both the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee passed their respective agriculture appropriations bills for FY 2015 in May; however, neither the full House nor the full Senate have passed the bills since.  If Congress is to finalize FY 2015 appropriations legislation in December, the House and Senate will first need to negotiate the differences between the two agriculture appropriations bills.

See our earlier blog post for more on the critical policy decisions that Congress must make between now and December 11.

For a detailed account of the FY 2015 agriculture appropriations bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee, click here.  And for a detailed account of the bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, click here.  You can also download our latest appropriations chart, which compares funding levels for dozens of important farm and food programs across multiple years, including proposed FY 2015 levels.

Stay tuned for more information about ongoing appropriations negotiations and what you can do to help secure important sustainable agriculture priorities in the coming weeks!

Categories: Beginning and Minority Farmers, Budget and Appropriations, Commodity, Crop Insurance & Credit Programs, Competition & Anti-trust, Conservation, Energy & Environment, Food Safety, Local & Regional Food Systems, Nutrition & Food Access, Research, Education & Extension, Rural Development

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