House and Senate leaders this week agreed to a six-month FY2013 Continuing Resolution (CR). This action would avoid the uncertainty of a possible government shutdown on October 1 and essentially remove it as a campaign issue. Final action on the FY2013 appropriations would fall to the next Congress.
In announcing the agreement, House Speaker John Boehner (R-IN) said he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) approved the six-month CR. “During the August district work period, committee members and their staff will write legislation that can be passed by the House and Senate in September and sent to President Obama to be signed into law.” A press release by Sen. Reid confirmed the deal.
The deal would fund the federal government until the end of March 2013 at an annual level of $1.047 trillion, the amount agreed-to in the deal last year to increase the national debt level. This resolves, at least temporarily, the dispute between the House and Senate on the FY2013 spending level. The House Budget Resolution set the FY2013 spending level at $1.028 trillion, $19 billion below the agreement. The White House and Senate Democrats strongly resisted any change to the agreed-to level.
As a result of this agreement on a six-month CR, it is highly unlikely that the House or the Senate will take any significant action on FY2013 appropriations bills. To date the House has passed seven bill (including DoD and Military Construction/VA), while the full Senate has not considered any appropriations bills.