President Donald Trump signed a stopgap spending bill in the early hours of Thursday to extend government funding through to Dec. 11, averting a government shutdown as the new fiscal year began at midnight.
The temporary spending bill—H.R. 8337, the “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act”—is required to maintain current funding levels to keep federal agencies running and extend most programs because the Senate has not acted on any of the 12 annual spending bills for the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30, 2021. These bills deal with some 30 percent of the federal government’s day-to-day budget.
Trump’s signing of the bill allows appropriators and congressional leaders until Dec. 11 to work out budget details dealing with the 12 spending bills, including for military operations, healthcare, national parks, space programs, and airport and border security. Discussions concern nearly $1.4 trillion in funding.
On Dec. 11, Congress will return to the government funding question during its post election session where they will have to consider yet another extension, or will have finalized the 12 spending bills by then.
It would also keep payments flowing through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) program providing aid to farmers—something the Trump administration wanted—while adding on accountability measures.
The bill also extends programs such as the federal flood insurance program, highway and transit programs, and a long set of extensions of various health programs, such as a provision to prevent Medicaid cuts to hospitals.
Before the talks, the White House had said Trump could agree to a $1.3 trillion bill.