Six Month Continuing Resolution Moves Toward Reality

As expected, the House introduced a Joint Resolution (HJ Res 117) on September 10th that would fund Federal Agencies at current levels through March 27, 2013 in the absence of enacted individual or omnibus appropriations measures.  The Joint Resolution calls for overall Federal spending to be $1.047 trillion in keeping with the 2011 Budget Control Act — a 0.612% increase over FY 12 funding that is to be applied equally across all discretionary spending accounts.  Even so, this actually will be $26.6 billion below last year’s funding operations level.

The 19 page document does not contain many specifics but does carry forward the policy and funding provisions included in currently enacted appropriations legislation.  There are one or two new provisions such as a requirement that within 30 days of enactment, each Federal Agency shall submit a spending/operations plan to both the House and Senate.  Similarly, beginning on November 1, 2012 and monthly thereafter, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must report on obligations (by account) incurred by each Agency and compare them to the same period from 2012.  No specific provisions related to water are included in the Joint Resolution.

The House passed the CR late Thursday night by a very large margin – approximately 80 percent of the Members voted in favor.  The Senate is expected to take up and approve the measure next week.