Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Federal Spending Bill Begins Quick Trip Through Congress

Last evening the House Rules Committee posted a 29-page "Continuing Resolution," (or "CR") on its website with the expectation that the measure could come to a House floor vote as early as Thursday, and move on to the Senate for quick passage next week.   Here is a link to the final version of the bill.  The measure would keep the Federal government running through March 27, 2013, assuming it passes the House and Senate before the existing funding authority expires at the end of September.  The House Rules Committee will consider the bill tomorrow, (at 3 p.m. EDT in U.S. Capitol room H-313), when it will likely adopt a "closed rule" barring amendments and setting aside an hour of debate on the bill on the House floor on Thursday.

The CR raises current spending levels by $8 billion under a formula that will raise most appropriations accounts by about 0.6 percent to meet the $1.047 trillion spending target set for the new fiscal year that begins October 1.  The $1.047 trillion cap was actually agreed upon under terms of last year's Budget Control Act, the deal that Congressional lawmakers and the Obama Administration reached to raise the debt ceiling.  The 0.6 percent increases would be distributed evenly across discretionary spending accounts.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised that the Senate will not attempt to add policy riders onto this bill.

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