FY 2016 Funding Debate Labors On
Congress was forced to pass another funding extension last week in order to avoid a government shutdown on December 11. Policy makers have given themselves until December 16 at midnight to complete work on the fiscal year (FY) 2016 appropriations bills, allowing for a few more days to work through the many policy riders (dealing with Syrian refugees, Planned Parenthood, and about 40 others) that have slowed progress on the $1.1 trillion package over the last several weeks. As of the time of this writing, text of a final FY 2016 spending package (also known as an omnibus) has not been released. It has become common practice in recent years to hold off on releasing the text of large bills until the very last minute—usually a couple of days before it receives a final vote—in order to minimize any additional roadblocks to final passage. This coupled with the secretive nature of the ongoing negotiations sets up a certain last minute scramble for advocates to digest the bill, develop and position, and activate their stakeholders once it is released. COSSA may release a special issue of Update outlining the details of the FY 2016 spending package if the bill text is released before the end of the year.