Government Shutdown Averted; Lawmakers Punt Budget Negotiation to 2019

Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate will introduce a bill to fund the government through February 8th, leaving the negotiation over $5 billion for border wall funding to the new year when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives.

The bill, a Continuing Resolution (CR), allows the government to continue to operate but with the same level of funding for the prior fiscal year and does not take into account administrative cost increases or demand for services. This will be the third continuing resolution that lawmakers have passed since the beginning of the federal fiscal year on October 1, 2018.  

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), short-term CRs result in deferred hiring and training, contracting delays that can raise costs, deferral of maintenance, and other disruptions.

Specifically, for housing, the CBPP notes that failure to increase funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget would result in non-renewal of some Housing Choice Vouchers and Section 8 project-based rental assistance, effecting an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 low-income households throughout the country. Level-funding for housing assistance also would disrupt contracts with many private owners who rent housing at affordable rates to low-income households. And the loss of some funding for homeless assistance would deny needed aid to tens of thousands of people who are already homeless.