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CD221: Kicking the Funding Can

Congressional Dish

Release Date: 10/12/2020

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Surprise, surprise! Congress failed to fund the government on time again. In this episode, discover the hidden secrets in the bill that temporarily funds the government and the politics behind the dingleberries that hitched a ride into law.


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Bills


H.R. 8337: Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act

Passed House: September 22, 359-17-1

Passed Senate: September 30, 84-10

Text

Outline

Division A: Continuing Appropriations Act

Extends government funding from 2020 at the same levels until December 11, 2021

Section 125: Gives permission to the Secretary of the Navy to spend over $1.6 billion to enter into a contract for who Columbia class submarines

Section 140: Amends the CARES Act to extend the expiration date of Section 3610, which allows any government agency to to change their contracts to allow the government to pay for up to 40 Horus per week of paid leave that contractors pay for their employees. This only applies to contractors who can’t work because their facilities are closed and can’t do their work remotely. The expiration is shifted from September 30 to December 11.

Section 159: Extends the authority from the CARES Act, which expired on September 30, for the Library of Congress to reimburse the Little Scholars Child Development Center and Tiny Findings Development Center for salaries for employees who can’t work due to COVID-19 closures in the capitol. It also extends the authority for the government to pay the salaries of contractors that work on the capitol until the end of the public emergency. The authorities are extended until the end of the public emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Section 170: Adds $728 billion to the $550 billion appropriated in the 2020 funding law for loan guarantees for mortgage backed securities

Section 173: Extends the borrowing limit for the Commodity Credit Corporation to reimburse it for net realized losses as of September 17, 2020.

Division B: Surface Transportation Program Extension

Section 1104: Allows Federal funds to be used to cover operating losses for food and beverage service on Amtrak

Division D : Other Matters

Section 4102: Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish fees ranging between $1,500 and $2,500 for applications for employment based immigration.

Section 4303: Permanently reauthorizes antitrust provisions that encourages corporations to cooperate in antirust civil cases by limiting the fines that can be imposed upon cooperating companies.

Section 4601: Expands eligibility for food stamps for children who usually get meals provided at school to include children in hybrid model schools and day cares.

Section 4602: Extends the states’ authority to apply for waivers for school meal requirements in order to provide meals in a COVID-safe way until September 30, 2021

Section 4603: Gives the states the ability to extend certification periods for households receiving food assistance to December 31, 2021, and to adjust interview requirements through June 30, 2021, if they want to, without getting permission from the Secretary of Agriculture

Section 4604: Prohibits the Secretary of Agriculture from using funding, facilities, or authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide payments to refiners or importers of fossil fuels unless the payments are for biofuels and prohibits the Commodity Credit Corporation from exchanging fossil fuel products for agricultural products until the end of March 2021.


Articles/Documents


Additional Resources


Sound Clip Sources


Hearing: Continuing Resolution to Fund the Government, U.S. House of Representatives, House Appropriations Committee, September 22, 2020
Transcript:

9:00 Steny Hoyer: Briefly want to say to the Appropriations Committee, congratulations for doing your work. I know there was controversy, everybody didn't support it. But we passed 10 of the 12 appropriation bills almost two months ago. Clearly sufficient time to reach agreement and pass the appropriation bills, not a CR. CR is a recognition of failure. Failure of to get our work done in a timely fashion. And I regret that I take some credit for passing 10 bills last year, in June, and 10 bills this year in July. I pushed the Appropriations Committee pretty hard. Staff worked hard, members worked hard. And we got our bills done.The Senate has not introduced - has not marked up - a single bill in committee. There's no bill out of committee, there's no bills on the floor, which means that the Senate has essentially abandoned the appropriations process. Madam Speaker, that's not the way the Congress the United States ought to work.

11:00 Steny Hoyer: From now, until hopefully before December 11, that's a Friday - we're scheduled to break for Christmas and the holidays - I'm hopeful that everyone will put their heads together to get the appropriation process done. And we'll probably do it in an omnibus, not single appropriation bills, which is not a good way to do it either. When I joined the Appropriations Committee, and we passed one bill at a time, the Senate passed one bill at a time, and we came to conference and sat down together, the members of the Defense Committee, the members of the Treasury, postal committee and labor health committees, we came together individually, and we worked out agreements between the two bodies. That is the way it ought to work. It's not working that way. And a world of alternatives, this is the best we have. So we need to take it.


Cover Art

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Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)