Negotiations on FY2021 Budget and COVID-19 Relief Continue

December 16, 2020

On the afternoon of Friday, December 11th, the day that the previous continuing resolution (CR) was set to expire, the Senate approved a one-week CR to keep the federal government open through December 18th. The measure, which extends FY 2020 funding levels, was signed into law by the President, avoiding a government shutdown. Lawmakers claim that the one-week extension is intended to provide the time needed to complete their work on an omnibus for FY 2021 spending bills. Legislators have reported being close to an agreement on the omnibus bill for annual appropriations.

During negotiations, House and Senate members have suggested that they would include another round of COVID-19 relief funds. As of Thursday morning, Congressional leaders were reporting continued progress resolving differences on an economic relief package costing roughly $900 billion.

On December 3rd, House Democrats chose Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) as their next Appropriations chairwoman. She will take over the panel in January following the retirement of chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY). A full list of Democratic committee chairs is available here.

House Republicans also elected ranking members to House committees for the 117th Congress. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05) was selected to serve as the lead Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which includes the NIH under its jurisdiction. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy released the full list of ranking members for the new Congress.