The federal government will remain open for the next two weeks, but feds will have to wait to find out whether a proposed 1.9 percent raise will be put into effect for 2019.
Both the House and Senate unanimously passed a second continuing resolution Dec. 6, to provide temporary funding for those agencies that yet to receive fiscal 2019 appropriations.
The double round of continuing resolutions holds in limbo the status of a federal employee pay raise that was approved by a Senate version of the appropriations bill, but absent in the House version. Should Congress fail to explicitly authorize a raise, President Donald Trump has said that he will freeze federal employee pay for the year.
Though a majority of FY19 appropriations bills were passed and signed into law earlier in the year, legislation authorizing complete funding for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, State, Transportation and Treasury, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, IRS and NASA, was instead set aside in favor of a continuing resolution until Dec. 7.
But Congress ran out of time to consider a full funding bill before the deadline, in part due to funeral preparations and a national day of mourning after the death of former President George H.W. Bush, and opted instead to extend negotiations until a Dec. 21 deadline.
The remaining appropriations will also determine the fate of proposed funding for oversight.gov and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s planned improvements to the site, as well as an additional influx of appropriations for the Technology Modernization Fund, which loans money to federal agencies to help with IT modernization projects.
The funding debate is likely to be contentious, as Trump has indicated that he will not sign legislation that does not include funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.