Budget

Senate breaks with no continuing resolution

capitol dome and bills

The Senate broke for the weekend without passing a continuing resolution to fund the government through Sept. 30. A funding bill is necessary to avert a government shutdown March 27.

The Senate voted down two proposed amendments on March 14, including one filed by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) that would have imposed a federal hiring freeze on all non-essential government employees. Another amendment proposed by Coburn that has yet to reach the floor would eliminate funding for more than 25 federal employees per agency to attend a conference, unless an agency head reports to Congress that “attendance is important to the national interests.” Other amendments include ramping up spending on food inspections, shielding air traffic controllers in rural states from cuts, and scaling back aid to Egypt.

Appropriations chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said that there were still 99 amendments that required action. She called on senators to withdraw or consolidate amendments to help speed consideration of the legislation.

The House already passed a continuing resolution (H.R. 933) that continues government operations through fiscal 2013, with appropriations for Defense, Veterans Affairs and military construction. The Senate measure amends the House continuing resolution to include funding for the Department of Commerce, the Justice Department, agriculture programs, the Food and Drug Administration, science programs. The presence of amendments on behalf of partisan or regional interests could make it difficult for the amended CR to pass in the House.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters on March 14 that, “One way or another we are going to move this bill forward on Monday.” The Senate is due to take up the bill the afternoon of March 18, and a cloture vote is set for that night.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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