Trump Signs CR Avoiding Shutdown Four Weeks

President Donald Trump has signed a stop-gap continuing resolution, delaying the prospects of a government shutdown for four more weeks.
The Senate passed the CR early Thursday afternoon with a 74-20 vote. The House easily cleared the measure Tuesday. The president had to take action before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday to avoid a second government shutdown in 2019.
Lawmakers have until Dec. 20 now to continue negotiations over 12 appropriations bills for the rest of fiscal 2020. Disagreements over border wall spending have largely delayed progress on the budget, even though congressional leaders struck a broad deal on topline spending caps earlier this year. Legislators have insisted they want to move individual appropriations bills rather than a third CR, or series of CRs, once they return from the Thanksgiving recess.
This latest CR secures a 3.1% pay raise for active-duty military members, extends expiring health care programs and includes additional funding for the Census Bureau to continue its 2020 preparations.
Though the CR guarantees a 3.1% raise for active-duty military members, the measure is silent on a federal pay raise for civilian employees, which is a cause for concern for some.
Federal employees will likely receive a raise in 2020; it's just unclear exactly how much the adjustment will be. The president has proposed a 2.6% federal pay raise for civilian employees next year, and it doesn't include a locality pay adjustment. Trump has until the last day of the year to sign an executive order officially implementing that raise, unless Congress chooses to act.
Congress could go in one of several directions. Lawmakers could choose to move forward with a House-passed 3.1% raise, which consists of a 2.6% across-the-board adjustment and a 0.5% locality pay bump. Congress may remain silent on federal pay -- either by choice or by sheer inaction on the 2020 spending bills.
By Dec. 20, members will face a series of choices. They could find a way to pass all or some appropriations bills next month with a 3.1% federal pay raise included. They could pass all or some spending bills next month but may stay silent on a raise, meaning the president's 2.6% proposal would likely move forward.
A third continuing resolution after Dec. 20 is another possibility. Members could attach a 3.1% federal pay raise to the CR, but it's unclear if lawmakers will go out of their way to secure one -- especially if the president will finalize his proposed 2.6% adjustment by the end of 2019.

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