President Trump signed into law late Jan. 22 a continuing resolution (CR) that funds the government through Feb. 8 and ends a three-day federal shutdown.
Earlier that evening, the Senate and House passed the CR (H.R. 195) by votes of 81-18 and 266-150, respectively. The previous CR expired Jan. 19, and a stalemate over what to replace it with ended when the Senate reached a compromise on a contentious immigration issue.
The new CR contains language clarifying that the $4 billion provided for missile defense in the previous CR should be used exactly as outlined in the Trump administration’s November budget amendment, according to a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee.
The amendment calls for the money to be spent on various projects, including construction of another long-range interceptor missile site at Fort Greely in Alaska; the purchase of several types of interceptors; and radar upgrades to improve missile detection.
The new CR is the fourth stopgap funding measure enacted since fiscal year 2018 began Oct. 1. Defense leaders in Congress expressed hope that lawmakers will finally reach a long-term budget agreement before the latest CR runs out.
“Ending the current shutdown does not solve the funding crisis for the military,” said Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “Congress has an obligation to spend the next three weeks getting a full year of funding for our troops.”
The House-passed FY 2018 defense appropriations bill would provide a total of $658.1 billion for defense. The Senate Appropriations Committee has proposed a $651-billion version (Defense Daily, Nov. 21, 2017).