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U.S. Government Could Shut Down, Mississippi Senator Has Bill to Keep It Going Temporarily

WASHINGTON, D.C.–If lawmakers cannot agree on government funding, it could, once again, take the country down the path of a government shutdown, which would mean a stop to some of the government services you depend on. For some people that means a pay check.

To keep the government from shutting down, at least through the end of the year, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran (R) has introduced a bill that would provide the necessary money to keep it going temporarily.

Cochran is Senate Appropriations Committee chair. His plan encouraged Senators to support a short-term continuing resolution to continue funding for government operations and prohibit funding for Planned Parenthood.

The Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2016 will ensure the operation of the federal government through Dec. 11, 2015, creating a two-and-a-half month window to complete the fiscal year 2016 appropriations process.  The legislation provides funding at an annual rate of $1.017 trillion, which conforms to the topline discretionary spending limit established by the Budget Control Act for fiscal year 2016, said a news release from Cochran.

“Our committee has approved all 12 of the annual appropriations bills required to meet our national security and domestic priorities.  Most of these bills have bipartisan support,” said Cochran.  “I encourage Senators to support this continuing resolution so that we can meet our responsibility to the American people to keep government operations open and address the challenges facing our nation.”

For the duration of the continuing resolution, the legislation will provide appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations at an annual rate of $74.7 billion.  The legislation also includes $700 million in emergency wildland fire suppression funding.

In response to the release of disturbing videotapes regarding fetal tissue sales, the legislation places a prohibition on federal funding for Planned Parenthood or its affiliates unless a Planned Parenthood certifies it will not perform or fund abortions.  The bill redirects the estimated $235 million in mandatory savings to increase funding for community health centers.

To address unique circumstances arising during the duration of the continuing resolution, the measure includes a limited number of funding anomalies, such as:  supporting veterans’ disability claims processing at a rate necessary to address ongoing backlogs; paying ongoing rental assistance contracts for rural housing; and accommodating an increased demand for 7(a) small business loans.

Finally, the legislation extends certain expiring authorities for the duration of the continuing resolution.  For example, authorities are extended for the Internet Tax Freedom Act, the E-Verify program, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

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