House passes continuing resolution
With the threat of a shutdown fast approaching, the House voted March 6 to fund the government through Sept. 30.
The fiscal 2013 Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 933) passed by a vote of 267 to 151. The bill provides necessary funding from March 27, when the current continuing resolution expires, until the end of the fiscal year.
According to the House Appropriations Committee's summary, the bill continues the remainder of federal discretionary spending at current rates, making limited exceptions where necessary to avert catastrophic damage to government programs, and to ensure good governance.
Nearly all of the funding remains subject to the president’s sequestration order, bringing the bill's total topline discretionary spending to approximately $984 billion.
“The House did the right thing today by passing this legislation,” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said in a statement. “As we try to get our fiscal house in order, it’s important to come together on issues where we can agree—avoiding a government shutdown, providing our people with essential services, and supporting our troops and veterans.”
However, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the committee’s ranking member, voted against the CR, tweeting before the vote that the “CR does nothing in language or deed to prevent dire cuts of sequestration.”
The legislation now moves to the Senate, which is expected to act quickly -- but is not likely to pass the bill without significant changes. Politico reports that "a bipartisan coalition hopes to expand on the package next week and give other Cabinet departments the same relief promised to the Pentagon."
Matthew Weigelt is a former FCW senior writer who covered acquisition and procurement.