Senate Passes Stopgap Funding Bill, Averts Shutdown

December 12, 2016

The Senate on Friday passed legislation to fund the federal government until April 28.

The measure passed 63-36 after several Democrats backed away from their threats to block or delay the funding measure because of a dispute over healthcare benefits for retired miners. The government funding bill would keep federal agencies funded until April 28. It freezes most spending at current levels.

Senators will have to reach an agreement by late April on spending levels for the rest of fiscal year 2017. Republican senators, including members of the leadership, had hoped Trump would instead accept a yearlong omnibus spending bill or a yearlong stopgap funding resolution to clear the decks for 2017 for those other priorities.  

The nearly $12 billion measure authorizes 30 new infrastructure projects around the country.

The measure includes $170 million to overhaul the infrastructure of communities with contaminated drinking water, including Flint, Michigan, where lead-tainted water became a national scandal earlier this year.  

It also includes $4.1 billion in disaster relief to rebuild areas inundated by floods caused by Hurricane Matthew and other storms, including parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Missing from the final bill was the "Buy America" provision which would have required certain drinking water projects to use American iron and steel products.