Congress will have to reach a deal to pass an omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2018 or risk another government shutdown. Last year’s attempts to reach a deal ended with Members passing two stopgap measures to keep the government open. Congress must end the stopgap spending bills and pass an omnibus bill to adequately fund the government through 2018. A continuing resolution is currently being discussed in the Senate to avoid a shutdown of the government.
Additionally, Congress will have to address long-term reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). There is bipartisan support for CHIP reauthorization, but disagreement over how to fund it. Putting children’s health at risk is inexcusable. I am urging my colleagues to pass a long-term reauthorization bill.
Lastly, additional disaster relief for victims of wildfires in California and hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will need to be reconsidered. The House passed an $81 billion relief package last month, but the measure stalled in the Senate before the holidays. Stalling this crucial aid package will further harm victims, so swift action is needed from Congress.
These and other important issues are keeping Congress busy this month. I am looking forward to a successful and productive 2018.