Freedom First Society

Issue: H.R. 8337, Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2021.  Question:  On Passage.

Result:  Passed in Senate, 84 yeas to 10 nays, 6 not voting.  Originated and passed in House (Roll Call 198, 9-22-20).  Became Public Law 116-159 (signed by the President, 10-1-20). GOP and Democrats Scored.

Freedom First Society:  Fiscal year 2020 ends on September 30th.  Fiscal year 2020 appropriations included massive unconstitutional programs and spending.  No representative, respecting his oath to obey the Constitution, should vote to extend such spending, unless a serious plan to begin rolling back such spending was imminent (which it was not).

H.R. 8337 would extend Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations through December 11.  After the November national elections, responsibility will fall on a lame-duck Congress to tackle FY 2021 appropriations.

We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)

Congressional Research Services Summary:
Shown Here:
Introduced in House (09/22/2020)
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act 
This bill provides continuing FY2021 appropriations to federal agencies through December 11, 2020, and extends several programs.

It is known as a continuing resolution (CR) and prevents a government shutdown that would otherwise occur if the FY2021 appropriations bills have not been enacted when FY2021 begins on October 1, 2020.

The CR funds most programs and activities at the FY2020 levels with several exceptions that provide funding flexibility and additional appropriations to various programs.

In addition, the bill extends several authorities and programs, including

  • surface transportation programs;
  • public health, Medicare, and Medicaid authorities and programs;
  • several authorities related to veterans benefits;
  • authorities to waive certain requirements for nutrition programs;
  • the National Flood Insurance Program;
  • the Appalachian Regional Commission;
  • the U.S. Parole Commission;
  • the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; and
  • several authorities related to immigration.

The bill also includes provisions that

  • accelerate reimbursements to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for net realized losses to allow the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue making certain payments to farmers,
  • prohibit USDA from using CCC funds to provide payments or support to fossil fuel refiners and importers,
  • expand nutrition assistance programs,
  • increase and expand U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services fees for providing premium processing services for certain immigration-related applications, and
  • reauthorize a program that provides incentives (e.g., limitations on civil liability) for corporations to self-report antitrust violations to the Department of Justice.

FFS Analysis:  Although tough action is needed to curtail deficit spending and most significantly to begin rolling back unconstitutional programs, 10 GOP senators were unwilling to extend government spending via this short-term Continuing Resolution (CR).  For an analysis of the CR, please see our analysis of the House vote (House Roll Call 198, 9-22-20).

There was virtually no debate in the Senate on H.R. 8337.  As reported by Roll Call (9-30-20):  “Passage was ensured after congressional leaders struck a bipartisan agreement last week that resolved a partisan dispute over farm payments.”

Nevertheless, the measure would occupy a major spot on Senate floor business on three different days:  On 9-24-20, Senate Vote 195 — Motion to Proceed;  On 9-29-20, Senate Vote 196 — on Cloture; and finally on 9-30-20, this vote, on Passage, the very last day of the Fiscal Year necessary to prevent shutdowns.

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