Government Remains Open; Spending Bill Signed
Federal Agencies Continue to Operate
President Trump signed a critical spending bill into law on February 15, 2019. After two weeks of negotiations, Congress and the Administration settled on an agreement to avert another partial government shutdown. Additionally, they funded key federal agencies through the remainder of the government’s fiscal year 2019, which ends on September 30, 2019. At the same time, President Trump declared a national emergency to fund construction of a partial border along the United States’ southern border. This controversial issue was at the center of the recent government shutdown.
This means that key federal agencies and the programs they administer, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the E-Verify program, will continue to operate as normal going forward.
As Congress debated the spending bill, it also considered including expired tax extenders. These included the Indian Employment Credit (IEC) and Federal Empowerment Zones (FEZ), which went into hiatus on January 1, 2018. Unfortunately, these tax credits were not included in the final package. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, wants to address the expired tax provisions soon. However, when and how Congress will act on this issue remains unclear.
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