House Approves Measure Extending Government Funding

Date: December 14, 2015

Stopgap Extends Federal Government Funds Through Mid-Week; Tax Policy At Center Of Debate

On Friday, the House passed a measure on a voice vote designed to fund the federal government through Wednesday, Dec. 16, which President Obama then signed. The Washington Post reported that the short-term funding measure was approved to give Congress time “to complete a deal on a year-end appropriations package.” The Senate approved the legislation on Thursday in a similar voice vote. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) said, “We’ve already settled about half of the titles within the committee,” but “dozens” more still require action. The Wall Street Journal reported that a number of riders and tax extensions are the subject of considerable argument on Capitol Hill. Democrats want to remove any riders they oppose. They are expected to have some influence because a number of Republicans are expected to oppose the spending package as too expensive. The Hill reported that negotiations on the “sweeping year-end fiscal deal may be President Obama’s last chance to shape tax policy.” Those discussions offer the president an opportunity “to cement a slate [of] credits for working families and college tuition that were created or expanded by the president’s 2009 stimulus bill.” The Hill said “the stakes are high for the White House because there is unlikely to be another opportunity.”

What Happens Next

The Washington Post reported that the challenges remaining in determining which tax extensions, if any, to approve mean that Congress may still need another federal government funding extension, especially since House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) “has promised to give lawmakers three days to read the text of any final agreement.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

Government uncertainty has become politics as usual in Washington, and small businesses continue to suffer while tax extensions that could benefit them languish. News that a deal on the federal budget is getting closer is a small first step that hopefully means Congress will get its fiscal house in order soon.

Additional Reading

The AP also covered the passage of the funding extension.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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