Stop-gap funding measure allows more time for appropriations negotiations

The measure would fund the federal government through Oct. 31

The House today passed legislation that would fund agencies through Oct. 31.

The continuing resolution is attached to the fiscal 2010 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act (H.R. 2918). The House passed by 217-190 the legislative branch appropriations bill's conference report, the result of resolving the differences between House and Senate bills. The Senate has not considered the report.

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, and Congress has passed its first appropriations bill. Eleven other bills are either awaiting passage by the Senate or waiting for lawmakers to resolve differences between House and Senate bills.

Under the continuing resolution, funding would continue at fiscal 2009 levels for most programs in the fiscal 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act; the 2009 Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act; and all supplemental appropriations for defense in 2009.

As for specific programs, the resolution would allow the Census Bureau's censuses and program accounts to operate at more than $7 billion, which is $3.87 billion above 2009 funding level. The agency continues to ramp up activities as it prepares for the 2010 census.

The resolution would also extend authorizations for E-Verify program electronic employment verification program, which would otherwise expire.

The legislative appropriations act would fund the Government Accountability Office at $557 million, or $26 million above the 2009 spending level. It would allow GAO to increase its staff to strengthen congressional oversight efforts. The conference report would provide $4.656 billion for operations of the legislative branch, an increase of $155 million, or 3.5 percent, over the amount appropriated last year.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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