Andy Friedman of The Washington Update Andy Friedman of The Washington Update.

The Senate passed early Thursday afternoon the House version of a continuing resolution to fund the government until Dec. 20. However, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act was not attached to the CR.

The deadline to fund the government ends at midnight on Thursday. Once the CR runs out in late December, lawmakers will go through the funding process again.

“Not atypically, Congress scrambled to get the CR passed at the last minute,” Andy Friedman, founder and principal of The Washington Update, told ThinkAdvisor in a Thursday email message. “That procedure (if you can call it that) typically provides neither the time nor the inclination to add extraneous amendments.”

While Friedman sees “virtually no risk” of a government shutdown in December, as Congress likely doesn’t want “to shutter the government with the holidays approaching and the election only a year away,” the December CR “will provide another opportunity for attaching and passing Secure.”

Congress “might be inclined then to finish year-end business, which provides a better chance for Secure’s enactment,” Friedman said.

Dan Zielinski, spokesman for the Insured Retirement Institute, added that while “it’s unfortunate that the Secure Act was not included in the short-term funding measure,” the CR “largely focused on necessary budget items to ensure continued government operations.”

IRI, however, “remains optimistic that the measure will be enacted this year.”

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said on Nov. 14 that “unless we can get [a] unanimous consent [vote] in the Senate,” it’s unlikely Secure will move forward this year.

“It’s unfortunate but not entirely surprising that the Secure Act will not advance as a part of the [November] continuing resolution,” said Kevin Mayeux, CEO of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

The Secure Act, Mayeux added, “remains a NAIFA advocacy priority and we urge Congress to pass this popular legislation at the next soonest possible opportunity.”

— Check out Senators Aim to Get Secure Act Passed by Year-End on ThinkAdvisor.