This week, the Senate was expected to vote on a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through December, so that they can go home to stump until election day in November. Reports were that they were supposed to vote early yesterday, but we’re still waiting. You can watch the Senate floor live with us here.
Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the CR earlier today. We have found that IVF funding is included and that there are no GI Bill cuts.
We are continuing to dig through the 160-page document to make sure there are no surprises for veteran benefits. This situation is far from over though. There has been opposition from other Senators on non-veteran issues and significant changes are still possible before there is a final vote.
The Senate has left for the rest of the week. They will be back Monday, September 26, 2016 at 3pm to continue work on the CR. We will continue to monitor the floor and update our members on new developments.
The CR is important because it will ensure the government has funding — avoiding a shut down — and because it’s critical for two of IAVA’s top priorities:
- Funding for IVF at the VA:The CR includes the MilCon-VA budget which includes critical funding for IVF to help wounded warriors start or grow their families. We are watching to ensure the Senate keeps IVF funding in the CR.
- #DefendtheGIBill: The CR is considered the last opportunity for SVAC leadership to pass the so-called Veterans First Act before Congress leaves for the election recess. Veterans First contains the $3.4B cut to the New GI Bill that IAVA has successfully fought off for months, a fight that included sending over 33,000 messages to Congress. We are watching to ensure the Senate doesn’t include the GI Bill cuts in the CR.
If it passes the Senate, the CR won’t become law until the House votes on it as well, which happens after the Senate leaves town.
We’ll keep watching and keep you updated!