Lawmakers bought themselves a couple of more weeks to hammer out a spending bill, including funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program and to battle the opioid epidemic.
President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a continuing resolution that will keep the government open until Dec. 22. While this will allow states to tap into existing CHIP monies, it does nothing to assuage worries about long-term funding. Congress failed to reauthorize CHIP, as well as funding for community health centers, earlier this year.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chair of the Appropriations health subcommittee, said he is optimistic Congress will allocate money to battle the opioid crisis, but it's unlikely to be the $45 billion sought by Democratic lawmakers.
Blunt and his House counterpart, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), are publicly optimistic that CHIP and Medicare appropriations will all get done by the end of the year, even as behind the scenes Republicans and Democrats wrangle over how to pay for them.
But with negotiations over these programs tied to a fight over defense and non-defense spending caps, the path to getting an agreement wrapped up for Christmas will be challenging.