Fiscal Cliff Avoided

September 14, 2017

In the first installment of hurricane relief funds, following Hurricane Harvey, Congress and the White House quickly approved emergency funding, and a deal to avoid a government shutdown.

As FEMA was running out of money, the National Flood Insurance program still in debt from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and damage from Hurricane Irma yet to be assessed, Congress enacted (House / Senate votes), and the President signed, a $15.25 billion bi-partisan emergency disaster relief package, and extended the flood insurance authorization until December 8. This funding is the first down payment for what is expected to be the largest disaster relief effort in the nation’s history. 

This same legislation carries a continuing resolution to keep the government running at current levels, and suspends the debt limit, both until December 8.  The deal avoids what budget watchers were expecting to be a contentious fight between Congress and the White House at the end of September.  President Trump had previously threatened a government shutdown, and demanded funding for a border wall, but both items have been tabled in light of the natural disasters.

By the time the deal expires, Congress will need to finalize FY 2018 spending bills, and provide additional disaster relief, which will set the stage for another budget agreement in December. 

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