1. Background

Congress Agrees on Short-Term Funding Deal

By Amelia Kegan, September 8, 2017


Congress has pushed major budget decisions off until December, which means that lobbying for a moral budget at FCNL's Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute in November is even more critical.

In early September, President Trump and congressional leaders agreed to a clean bill that raises the debt ceiling for three months, keep the government open at current spending levels for three months, and provided an initial down payment of $15 billion for disaster relief from Hurricane Harvey.

What does this mean for the issues FCNL cares about? The biggest takeaway is that this fall just got even more intense.

FCNL's Quaker Public Policy Institute and Annual Meeting, occurring November 2-5, will come during a critical time as members of Congress are negotiating around the budget.

Event Annual Meeting & Quaker Public Policy Institute 2017 

November 2-5, 2017 in Washington, DC

Learn. Lobby. Lead. As FCNL enters our 75th year, join Quakers and friends for four days of community, celebration, and advocacy.

Congress’ “to-do list” by December includes:

  • Determining an overall budget agreement that establishes how much money will go to defense spending and how much will go to non-defense spending.
  • Decide how much money to allocate each individual federal program, everything from the EPA, the Complex Crises Fund, reentry services for returning citizens, low-income housing assistance, refugee resettlement, education, scientific research, etc. It also includes funding for immigration enforcement, detention, and deportation.
  • Raising the debt ceiling again so that the government can pay its bills. If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, the government would default on its obligations, leading to global economic collapse.
  • Provide additional disaster relief for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
  • Pass an immigration bill that protects DACA recipients.

Other things Congress must do before the end of September include:

  • Reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • Continue the Cost Sharing Reductions (CSRs) to Health Insurance Companies that help low-income individuals afford health coverage and provide some stability to the individual health insurance marketplace. Insurers have to set their rates by September 27 for November 1, when the open enrollment period begins. Whether the CSRs are continued makes an enormous difference on what those rates will be and whether people will be able to access and afford coverage.

Amelia Kegan

  • Legislative Director, Domestic Policy

Amelia Kegan leads the domestic policy team's work in analyzing legislation, advocating on Capitol Hill, and developing legislative strategy. Prior to coming to FCNL, Amelia worked at a variety of other national non-profits in D.C. and Chicago, focusing on federal budget, tax, and low-income policy.