House Appropriations Committee (HAC) chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) introduced a FY2014 Continuing Resolution (CR) that would fund government agencies through December 15. The full House could take up the CR as early as tomorrow.
The proposed CR (H.J. Res 59) would provide total funding for government agencies to keep the government operating between October 1 and December 15 at a rate of $986.6 trillion, slightly below the current level, after sequestration.
In releasing the CR, Rogers said the CR “is simply a temporary measure to keep the lights on in government until this Congress can fulfill its duty by approving Appropriations bills for the next fiscal year.”
The proposed “clean” CR would be essentially devoid of any “new or controversial riders or changes in existing federal policy.” Under the CR agencies could not start any new programs or to increase production rates and could not initiate any multiyear procurements during the CR period.
However, the CR does include some necessary changes to current law “to prevent catastrophic, irreversible, or detrimental impacts on government programs,” according to the press release.” The bill includes provisions that would: provide additional funding for wildfire suppression efforts by Interior and the Forest Service and disability claims processing by the Veterans Administration; allow funding flexibility for the Customs Bureau to continue staffing levels and border security operations; and allow continued funding for pandemic flu preparedness and efforts to respond to biological attacks.
The CR also allows the apportionment of funding to agencies for civilian personnel compensation at a “rate of operations necessary to avoid furloughs.”
Congressional action on the CR is needed before October 1 because Congress has made only minimum progress on the 12 FY2014 appropriations bills so far this year and there is little chance will make additional progress before the end of the month.
To date the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) has completed action on 10 of the 12 FY2014 appropriations bills (it has yet to finish the Interior & Environment and Labor/HHS/Education bills), but the full House has passed only four appropriations bills (DoD, Military Construction/VA, Energy & Water, and Homeland Security).
In the Senate the Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) has finished its work on all 12 bills, but none have been brought up in the full Senate.