President Trump recently signed into law a short-term spending bill – which funds the federal government through December 11 at current spending levels. The measure averts a shutdown of the federal government and includes a provision to extend the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (Trust Fund) for one year – a top priority for the recreational boating industry.
Congress was unable to pass its appropriations bills by the October 1 deadline, leading to the need for a stopgap funding measure. While the U.S House of Representatives passed several appropriations bills – which include the vast majority of the industry’s funding priorities – the U.S. Senate still must develop and pass its spending bills for fiscal year 2021.
The measure extends the Trust Fund authorization until October 1, 2021. Congress could not reach an agreement on a larger infrastructure measure that included the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2019 – which extends authorization of the program for five years; however, reauthorizing the Trust Fund is a top priority of the recreational boating community.
Members of Congress are now expected to return to their respective districts and states through Election Day, as the campaign season enters the final stretch. However, members will remain on call as congressional leaders and the administration continue negotiating another stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.