The measure extends the short-term resolution under which the government is operating and which is set to expire Friday. It is the latest short-term funding bill aimed at giving congressional leaders more time to negotiate a funding plan for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Republican leaders touted the inclusion of $6 billion more in cuts in the latest funding measure but conservative members of their caucus have grown restive with the lack of larger cuts and the inclusion of controversial funding. A growing number of conservative Republicans opposed the bill in the House and Senate.
“The continuing resolution maintains unsustainable spending levels despite widespread agreement that we need meaningful reductions,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said in a written statement about his opposition to the measure. “The question before the Senate is whether we are going to take bold action now to reduce our deficit and control spending, or keep putting it off and drive the country further into debt.”
The measure’s cuts mean less money for healthcare, as outlined by a summary from the House Appropriations Committee, where the measure originated. Those reductions included $75 million less in state health access grants that would apply to 13 states slated to receive funding from HHS, as well as $276 million in flu funding. The bill reduces unspecified pandemic influenza funding, which does not include a specific time period, but continues about $65 million in annual flu funding.