On Friday, the House approved a continuing resolution (CR) (H.R. 6833) to fund the government through Dec. 16, giving lawmakers a reprieve until after the midterm elections in November. The Senate passed the measure on Thursday. Funding will generally remain at 2022 levels, though some adjustments were made at the White House’s request and other support was added for certain programs, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and operations in the Office of the National Cyber Director. Absent the CR, existing levels of government funding would have lapsed on Sept. 30, triggering a government shutdown on Oct. 1. To avoid lapses in other programs, the CR delayed the expiration of a host of items until December as well, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program, the US Parole Commission and HUD’s Mark-to-Market program, as well as other programs operated by the departments of Health and Human Services and Veterans’ Affairs.
The bill also includes a number of policy riders, notably the authorization of over $12 billion in aid for Ukraine and the imposition of enhanced oversight mechanisms around such aid. In addition, it carried short-term reauthorizations of user fees for prescription drugs, medical devices, generic drugs and biosimilar products, funds for the Orphan Drug Grant Program, pediatric drug studies and the critical path public-private partnerships. A set of permitting reforms championed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was removed from the CR earlier this week, but it may resurface during consideration of other moving vehicles, such as the year-end omnibus spending bill or the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Congress is now set to recess until mid-November.
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