The “must pass” Continuing Resolution (CR), which keeps the government running, was passed by the House last Thursday.
Language to ensure health care for retired coal miners, funding for emergency aid for Flint, Mich. and even the logistics of nominating one of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet members numbered among the provisions that held up the negotiations. All of those controversial provisions were included in the final bill.
At press time, however, certain matters have arisen holding back final Senate passage. U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Mark Warner (D-VA) announced that they will block all attempts to pass legislation by unanimous consent in the Senate until the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) healthcare and pension shortfall is adequately addressed to give miners long-term certainty. The CR provides funding for this provision only through the end of April as it does for all items in the CR agreement.
It is our understanding that work to straighten out a final funding measure may require the Senate to remain in session overnight with a vote being taken Saturday. Even though the current CR ends at midnight, most government departments are able to continue operations until the new CR is signed, hopefully late today or early tomorrow.