House passes CR to keep govt open until Dec. 20, guarantee military pay raise

Update: The House passed the continuing resolution through Dec. 20 with a 231-192 vote. The bill will now proceed to the Senate. The President will need to sign a bill before midnight on Nov. 21 to avoid a shutdown.


A continuing resolution introduced by Democrats in the House would keep the government open until Dec. 20, and ensure a 3.1% pay raise for active-duty military in 2020.

The resolution also makes sure the Census Bureau receives full funding for a fair and accurate 2020 Census, and pays for mobile questionnaire assistance centers.

“With a government shutdown deadline just days away, this continuing resolution is necessary to keep government open as we work towards completing the appropriations process,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) in a statement Monday. “I am particularly proud that we are assuring full funding for a fair and accurate Census and ensuring our service members receive a 3.1 percent pay raise. I look forward to passing this legislation and getting it signed into law.”

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The pay increase for the military is the largest increase for service members in nine years. The CR also extends expiring health care programs.

Except for those anomalies and a few other budget increases, the rest of the government will continue at the same level of funding as fiscal 2019.

Both houses of Congress still need to pass the resolution, and it would need to be signed by the president.

Time is running out for Congress to fund the government to avoid a shutdown. The deadline for the current CR to expire ends at the end of Nov. 21.

President Donald Trump signed the first CR of the year on Sept. 27. That resolution included an additional $48 million for the Office of Personnel Management, which faced a funding shortfall on Oct. 1 when the National Background Investigations Bureau and the governmentwide security clearance portfolio transferred to the Pentagon.

The Trump administration said the security clearance transfer will create a $70 million gap for OPM, which relied on the revenue it received by processing background investigations and other security credentials to fund other entities within the agency.

The CR doesn’t address federal pay, because the measure simply keeps agency funding consistent with 2019 levels. House and Senate leadership must conference over exactly how much of a raise civilian federal employees would receive in 2020 — either the House-passed 3.1% raise or the president’s proposed 2.6% bump.

Most federal pay raises kick in on or near Jan. 1 of the next year.

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