Public Laws

Public Law 115-120
Making Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018


This public law was enacted on Government shutdowns have been followed, uniformly since at least 1990, by laws enacted to mitigate any effects that might have been caused by the lapse in appropriations. The three-shutdown of January 2018 was no exception and these provisions provided that funding would be assumed to have not been interrupted. 

Pub. L. 115-120 Making Further Appropriations, 2018 (H.R. 195 (115th Congress) Enrolled)

General  Information

Public Law:  Public Law 115-120

Stat. At Large: [Not available yet]

Enacted: January 22, 2018

Bill Number:  H.R. 195 (115th Congress)

Note: This continuing resolution was enacted thereby ending a short government shutdown, which occurred when the bill, H.R. 195 (115th Congress) was prevented from coming to a vote in the U.S. Senate by a Democratic filibuster. Congressional Leadership and the President came to an agreement and the bill was signed into law as Public Law 115-120.

From Pub. L. 115-120, H.R. 195 (115th Congress)

Provisions of law applicable to reversing effects from the government shutdown of January 20-22, 2018:

“Sec. 154. (a) Employees furloughed as a result of any lapse in appropriations which begins on or about January 20, 2018, shall be compensated at their standard rate of compensation, for the period of such lapse in appropriations, as soon as practicable after such lapse in appropriations ends.

“(b) For purposes of this section, ‘employee’ means:

“(1) a federal employee;

“(2) an employee of the District of Columbia Courts;

“(3) an employee of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia; or

“(4) a District of Columbia Government employee.

“(c) All obligations incurred in anticipation of the appropriations made and authority granted by this division for the purposes of maintaining the essential level of activity to protect life and property and bringing about orderly termination of Government functions, and for purposes as otherwise authorized by law, are hereby ratified and approved if otherwise in accord with the provisions of this division.

“Sec. 155. (a) If a State (or another Federal grantee) used State funds (or the grantee’s non-Federal funds) to continue carrying out a Federal program or furloughed State employees (or the grantee’s employees) whose compensation is advanced or reimbursed in whole or in part by the Federal Government—

“(1) such furloughed employees shall be compensated at their standard rate of compensation for such period;

“(2) the State (or such other grantee) shall be reimbursed for expenses that would have been paid by the Federal Government during such period had appropriations been available, including the cost of compensating such furloughed employees, together with interest thereon calculated under section 6503(d) of title 31, United States Code; and

“(3) the State (or such other grantee) may use funds available to the State (or the grantee) under such Federal program to reimburse such State (or the grantee), together with interest thereon calculated under section 6503(d) of title 31, United States Code.

“(b) For purposes of this section, the term ‘State’ and the term ‘grantee’ shall have the meaning as such term is defined under the applicable Federal program under subsection (a). In addition, ‘to continue carrying out a Federal program’ means the continued performance by a State or other Federal grantee, during the period of a lapse in appropriations, of a Federal program that the State or such other grantee had been carrying out prior to the period of the lapse in appropriations.

“(c) The authority under this section applies with respect to any period in fiscal year 2018 (not limited to periods beginning or ending after the date of the enactment of this division) during which there occurs a lapse in appropriations with respect to any department or agency of the Federal Government which, but for such lapse in appropriations, would have paid, or made reimbursement relating to, any of the expenses referred to in this section with respect to the program involved. Payments and reimbursements under this authority shall be made only to the extent and in amounts provided in advance in appropriations Acts.”.

Provisions Increasing the Limit on the Public Debt


Sec. 101. (a)  In General.–Section 3101(b) of title 31, United States Code, shall not apply for the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on December 8, 2017.

(b) Special Rule Relating to Obligations Issued During Extension Period.–Effective on December 9, 2017,  the limitation in effect under section 3101(b) of title 31, United States Code, shall be increased to the extent that–

(1) the face amount of obligations issued under chapter 31 of such title and the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) outstanding on December 9, 2017, exceeds

(2) the face amount of such obligations outstanding on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) Restoring Congressional Authority Over the National Debt.–

(1) Extension limited to necessary obligations.–An obligation shall not be taken into account under section 101(b)(1) unless the issuance of such obligation was necessary to fund a commitment incurred pursuant to law by the Federal Government that required payment before December 9, 2017.

(2) Prohibition on creation of cash reserve during extension period.–The Secretary of the Treasury shall not issue obligations during the period specified in section 101(a) for the purpose of increasing the cash balance above normal operating balances in anticipation of the expiration of such period.