Yesterday, the House agreed (318-109) to the Senate-passed (73-26) FY2013 Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year. This rare show of bipartisan congressional action averted a possible government shutdown next week. The president is expected to sign the bill
House Appropriation Committee Chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) said “I’m proud that we were able to reach across the aisle—and across Capitol Hill—to produce a meaningful, bipartisan bill that funds the government responsibly.”
The bill (H.R. 933) provides for $984 billion in government spending in FY2013, but makes no changes to the required $85 billion across-the-board cuts (sequestration) that went into effect on March 1.
The bill includes five separate FY2013 appropriations bills: DoD, Military Construction/VA, Agriculture, Commerce/Justice/State, and Homeland Security. Funding levels for other federal agencies will continue at the FY2012 level.
The proposed .5 percent federal civilian pay raise was rejected in the bill. This will mark the third consecutive year that federal pay has been frozen. Military personnel will receive a 1.7 percent pay raise as requested) in the bill.
The bill provides $518 billion for the DoD, excluding military construction, $2 billion higher than the request. Military Construction (funded in the MilCon/VA bill) accounts receive $10.6 billion, $500 million below the request. The funding amounts and details of both these bills are the same as that provided in the House bill passed in early March. However, the final bill did restore funding for tuition assistance for servicemembers.
The legislation also provides DoD with needed flexibility to help mitigate the effects of the $46 billion in across-the-broad cuts required by sequestration. Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funding is $10.4 billion above the FY2012 level. The bill also provides $3.5 billion in transfer authority to enable DoD to move funds to higher priority needs in the base bill and $3.5 billion in transfer authority for Overseas Contingency Operations.