Congress reaches short term agreement on FY 2018 funding and debt ceiling

The House and Senate adopted, and the president signed into law, legislation extending funding for federal agencies and suspending the debt ceiling until December 8, while providing an initial $15.3 billion for hurricane relief. With regular appropriations still incomplete, the legislation was necessary to avoid a shutdown on October 1, when the 2018 fiscal year begins. The suspension of the debt ceiling, which limits how much the U.S. government can borrow, was also necessary as the government is expected to reach the limit later this month. While the president’s signature on the bill means that a crisis has been averted, it also sets up a contentious debate in November and December, with a broader spending deal still lacking for now.