Congress is in the midst of a busy fall dominated by budgetary deadlines and several expiring programs. President Trump recently signed the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019,” which in effect avoids a government shutdown on Oct. 1, 2019.
Programs given short-term extensions. The federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, which means that federal discretionary spending programs (about 30 percent of the budget) would have shut down unless new funding was provided in the bill that was just enacted. Authority for numerous other federal programs also would have expired on Sept. 30. Each of them was extended through Nov. 21 in this recently enacted legislation.
Here is a list of the major items that were extended: (1) all federal discretionary spending programs (which are normally divided into 12 separate bills); (2) the National Flood Insurance Program; (3) the Export-Import Bank authorization; (4) the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; (5) the Child Care grants to states program; (6) the Community Health Centers Fund; (7) the National Health Service Corps authorization; (8) the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration program, which provides additional funding in eight states for mental health treatment; (9) several other health care “extenders” programs; and (10) authorization for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Other programs expiring on Sept. 30 that have not yet been extended. (1) the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) setting forth military spending priorities; and (2) the Older Americans Act, which includes programs such as Meals on Wheels.
The new deadline to watch: Nov. 21. The Continuing Appropriations Act described above will expire on Nov. 21 and create a new “shutdown crisis” on that date, not just for discretionary spending programs, but for each of the other programs given the short reprieve.
Other key dates driving the Congressional agenda. On Dec. 15, certain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provisions expire. And on Dec. 31, (1) the Paid Family Leave tax credit from the 2017 tax bill expires; (2) the expanded Medical Expense Deduction from the 2017 tax bill expires; (3) delays in implementation of the Medical Device Tax and the Health Insurance Tax from the Affordable Care Act expire; (4) reduced taxes for beer, wine, and distilled spirits from the 2017 tax bill expire.