This bill, in its final form, temporarily reopened the federal government until February 15, 2019. It was enacted on January 25, 2019, following 35 days of major federal departments shut down because of a lapse in funding.
On December 22, 2018 the 115th Congress was unable to reach a deal to fund some federal agencies through fiscal year 2019 after President Trump demanded $5 billion in funding for a southern border wall. The Senate had unanimously passed a bill to fund the government through 2019, without the border wall, the then Republican-controlled House amended the bill adding $5 billion in funding for a southern border wall. The Senate neglected to vote on that bill leaving it to die in the previous Congress. When funding lapsed for the USDA, FDA, and Departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, Environment, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, the partial government shutdown began.
The bill was introduced as one of House Democrats’ attempts to reopen the government, re-opening the closed agencies through February 28, and on January 23, 2019 was passed by the House in that form (an earlier voice vote on January 17 was vacated). However, the proposal was dead on arrival in the Senate.
Under mounting pressure, the funding date in the bill was pulled back to February 15, and it passed both chambers by voice vote and was enacted in that form on January 25, 2019, giving lawmakers three more weeks to arrive at a longer term funding deal.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 26, 2019.
Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019
(Sec. 101) This joint resolution provides continuing FY2019 appropriations to several federal agencies through the earlier of February 15, 2019, or the enactment of the applicable appropriations legislation.
It is known as a continuing resolution (CR) and ends the partial government shutdown that began after the existing CR expired on December 21, 2018, because seven of the remaining FY2019 appropriations bills have not been enacted.
(Five of the FY2019 appropriations bills were enacted last year, including
the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2019; the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019; the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019; the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2019; and the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019.) The CR also
makes appropriations available, pursuant to a requirement under current law, to compensate employees furloughed as a result of any lapse in appropriations that began on or about December 22, 2018; ratifies and approves certain obligations incurred in anticipation of the appropriations made and the authority granted by this joint resolution; reimburses or compensates certain states, federal grantees, and furloughed state employees for the lapse in appropriations; and delays the release of required sequestration reports and orders by the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget. Additionally, the CR extends through February 15, 2019, several programs and authorities, including
the authority for the Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to withhold from public disclosure certain technical data or scientific information that reveals vulnerabilities of existing medical or public health defenses against biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological threats; an exemption from antitrust laws for meetings and consultations to discuss the development of certain vaccines and drugs related to public health threats such as bioterrorism, pandemics, or epidemics; the Violence Against Women Act; the authority for the Environmental Protection Agency to collect and spend certain fees related to pesticides; and several authorities related to immigration. (Sec. 102) This section specifies that the time period covered by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 includes the lapse in appropriations that began on or about December 22, 2018.
(Sec. 103) This section specifies that the requirement under current law to compensate employees furloughed as a result of a lapse in appropriations is subject to the enactment of appropriations legislation ending the lapse.
(Sec. 104) This section requires any debits on the scorecard maintained under the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (PAYGO Act) for 2019 to be transferred to the 2020 scorecard.
(The PAYGO Act prohibits direct spending and revenue legislation from increasing the budget deficit. PAYGO scorecards are used to enforce the requirements and determine whether a sequestration order implementing spending cuts is necessary.)