House Republican leadership is beginning to discuss the possibility of a stopgap spending measure – or continuing resolution (CR) – to keep the government running past the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30th. Discussions are beginning earlier than usual this year due to disagreements between the House and Senate are so large that neither side is optimistic that they can reach a resolution before then.
At this point, it is unclear as to whether the GOP will push for a simple extension at the FY13 level of roughly $988 billion for discretionary spending or try to draw up a stopgap bill at the roughly $967 billion level now written into federal law. Also unclear is how long the CR will last to keep the government funded. One thing is for sure: House Republicans will not work with the $1.058 trillion level for discretionary spending advocated by Senate Democrats.
In the midst of all this, House and Senate Appropriators continue to move bills forward in their respective chambers. The House Appropriations Committee is on track to end this week with 10 of its 12 FY14 bills approved. In addition to the work on the Labor-HHS-Education bill, the Interior-Environment panel marks up its draft on Tuesday and the full committee acts Wednesday on the State-Foreign Operations bill.
Senate leadership will attempt to bring their first FY14 spending bill – Transportation-HUD – to the Senate floor for consideration Tuesday. Senate appropriators are slated to approve this week the Financial Services and State-Foreign Operations measures, the ninth and 10th annual measures to move through the committee. The Senate Defense bill is expected to be marked up next week, the last work week before the August recess.