Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017
Public Law 115-56
This public law was enacted on September 8, 2017. This continuing resolution was unusual insofar as it preceded the end of the fiscal year, which occurs at the end of September 30 of each year (as set in 31 U.S.C. 1102). The main purpose of the bill was as a supplemental emergency appropriation bill for hurricane damage, but also included a debt limit increase and the continuing resolution. A House Appropriations Committee stated the Act included “a temporary measure to allow time for final, year-long Appropriations funding legislation to be completed. This measure will allow government operations to continue until December 8, 2017.”
Public Law: Public Law 115-56
Stat. At Large: [Not available yet]
Enacted: Sept. 8, 2017
Bill Number: H.R. 601 (115th Congress)
Note: Though the bill was an emergency spending supplemental, anticipating the failure to meet the October 1 end of the fiscal year deadline, this Act included a continuing appropriation until December 8, 2017. It also included an increase in the public debt limit.
Applicable Text of Statute
1. This Act was the first “continuing appropriation” measure enacted in order to keep the Federal Government funded as the fiscal year, and hence appropriated funds, came to an end. The following is the text setting the new date as December 8, 2017:
Sec. 106. Unless otherwise provided for in this Act or in the applicable appropriations Act for fiscal year 2018, appropriations and funds made available and authority granted pursuant to this Act shall be available until whichever of the following first occurs:
(1) the enactment into law of an appropriation for any project or activity provided for in this Act;
(2) the enactment into law of the applicable appropriations Act for fiscal year 2018 without any provision for such project or activity; or
(3) December 8, 2017.
2. Though not unprecedented, this appropriation bill included a debt limit increase, which is not ordinarily included in Appropriation Acts. It is in jurisdiction of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees. The Limit on the Public Debt is in Division C:
DIVISION C—TEMPORARY EXTENSION OF PUBLIC DEBT LIMIT
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 Sec- retary 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.
3. The text of this Act also include the below that may be of some interest, insofar as it provides directions related to designations, which provide for adjustments to the discretionary spending limits: