Legislative Alert: Appropriations Update; Get Involved in Policy and Legislative Efforts at the IACP Annual Conference and Exposition

Capitol building

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate returned from recess on September 8, 2015. They are now working to finish the annual appropriations bills to keep federal government operations open past September 30,
2015, the end of the federal fiscal year. However, if Congress Democrats and Republicans cannot resolve their differences over the mandatory budget caps that are currently in place through the Budget Control Act of 2011, there is a potential for a government shutdown. (Budget caps limit the budget authority and spending levels provided by discretionary appropriations in the given fiscal year.) Democrats want the budget caps to be lifted for both defense and non-defense spending, while Republicans have said they will accept increases only for defense spending by about $40 billion. U.S. President Obama has said that he will veto any bill that increases only defense spending. It is likely that a three-month continuing resolution (CR) will be passed by September 30, rather than longer-term funding bills, in order to provide more time for a deal to be reached.