Congress Returns After Summer Recess

Congress returned to Capitol Hill this week to deal with Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) appropriations and funding the domestic response to Zika. With fewer than 20 days remaining in the Congressional schedule before the election and FY16 ending on September 30, little time remains for Congress to address these issues. Earlier this week, Senate Democrats rejected by a procedural vote to advance legislation that would have provided additional funding for the domestic Zika response. The$1.1 billion bill was rejected due to GOP riders, including one to defund Planned Parenthood, attached to the legislation. Congress could potentially attach Zika response funding to the FY17 legislative package. In regards to FY17, Congress is expected to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open beyond September 30. However, it still remains unclear if the CR will expire in December, in which case Congress will return for a lame duck session to complete the federal budget, or if a longer CR will last until March and the new Congress will finish up the FY17 budget.