CR Is Not a ‘Done Deal’ After All

Last week, the House passed HJ Res 117 – a measure to extend Federal funding at current levels through March 27, 2013.  Known as a continuing resolution or CR, the House took this approach in the absence of any enacted Federal appropriations bills for FY 13.  This approach not only keeps the government running, it also sidesteps the issue of making tough fiscal choices just before a national election.

Initially, the Senate was expected to quickly follow suit this week.  However, this has not been the case.  Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) wanted to invoke cloture – a move designed to cut off debate on the subject and curtail numerous amendments to the CR – on Thursday.  Senators on both sides of the aisle, however, still wanted to keep the debate going so that additional attention can be drawn to their legislative proposals on topics as wide ranging as halting aid to Pakistan and Libya and easing restrictions on hunters carrying bows and arrows in national parks.  Approving the CR is expected to be the last piece of major legislative business for the Senate until after the elections in November.  Senator Reid has now stated that he plans a cloture vote on the CR at 1:00AM on Saturday, September 22 with a final vote on passage to be taken at 7:30AM on Sunday, September 23. Separately, the House has already announced that there will be no legislative business taken up in the chamber during October.