On Monday evening Congress managed to pass legislation to reopen the federal government after a brief three-day shutdown, which mostly took place over the weekend. The bill, signed by the President Monday night, will extend current funding levels through February 8th and ensure back pay for federal employees during this and any other shutdown in federal fiscal year (FY) 2018. This is the fourth short-term spending bill passed by Congress since the fiscal year began on October 1st.
The continuing resolution (CR) also resolved one of the larger policy issues which were tied to the appropriations debate by extending authorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six more years. However, the legislation did not contain any provisions related to immigration, specifically the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Democrats had been pushing. Instead, progressives were given a promise that DACA would be discussed soon, alongside other immigration reforms, if no bipartisan deal is reached before the CR expires.
Democrats who voted in favor of this spending bill have already heard complaints from immigration activists, who feel they caved in too quickly and want them to hold out longer in the next round of discussion. That pressure, combined with the short time span of the new CR and the contentious nature of the immigration debate, virtually guarantees that another showdown over government funding is in the cards for early February.