Stop gap budget would ease way for Trump’s pick for Defense Secretary

Stop gap budget would ease way for Trump’s pick for Defense Secretary 

Posted: 3:00 am Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

By Jamie Dupree

As Congressional leaders unveiled plans for a stop gap spending plan that would let lawmakers punt most of their budget work into 2017, the deal includes language that would ease the way forward in Congress for President-Elect Trump’s choice for Defense Secretary, retired Marine General James Mattis.

At a campaign-style rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Tuesday evening, Mr. Trump officially announced his choice of Mattis, which was well received by a very supportive audience in the hall.

The President-Elect acknowledged to the crowd that Mattis will still need a special bill to be approved by Congress next year, which would waive a federal law that requires military officers to wait seven years before switching from active duty to the job of Secretary of Defense.

“He’ll get that waiver, right?” Trump said to cheers. “If he didn’t get that waiver there would be a lot of angry people.”

The provision in the “CR” would expedite floor action on the Mattis waiver in both the House and Senate, but 60 votes would still be required in the Senate to gain final approval of that legislation.

Approval of the Continuing Resolution would allow the Congress to leave town for this year, though much budget work will still be required in 2017.

Among the provisions tucked into this plan:

+ Funding for Uncle Sam would be extended until April 28, 2017.

+ There is no increase in overall funding. Discretionary spending would remain at $1.070 trillion

+ The city of New York would get $7 million to help offset some of the costs of extra security needed for President-Elect Trump. New York’s Mayor had sought $35 million.

+ Flint, Michigan would see $170 million in aid to fix water systems in that area

+ NASA would receive an extra $74.7 million for continuing facility repairs from damage done by Hurricane Matthew

+ $872 million would go to fund programs that are part of the 21st Century Cures Act making its way through Congress, on medical innovation

+ There is a provision that prevents lawmakers in Congress from getting a yearly Cost of Living Adjustment (pay raise)

If you would like to go through the CR, you can find the 70 page document at the website of the House Rules Committee.

The House should vote on this by the end of the week. Senate approval could leak into next week – unless lawmakers start to be overcome by holiday jet fumes.

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