• Senate Legislation to Fund Government Introduced
  • March 13, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • Funding for the federal government is scheduled to expire on March 27th. In order to avoid a government shutdown, both the House and the Senate have been working on temporary spending bills known as Continuing Resolutions (CR). The House CR passed last week by a wide bipartisan majority - with more than 50 Democrats joining all but 14 Republicans in voting for the legislation.

    This week, the Senate has proposed a bipartisan CR - introduced by Senator Mikulski (D-MD) and Senator Shelby (R-AL) - that includes higher total spending than the House-passed CR.

    The House-passed CR checks in at $982 billion, while the Senate has proposed a $1.043 trillion CR: a difference of more than $200 billion additional dollars in the Senate CR.

    In addition to the six-month funding extension, the House CR includes full-year funding for Defense and for Military Construction/VA. The Senate added full-year funding for three additional departments.

    The Senate CR includes full-year funding for the following departments:

    • Agriculture - $19.565 billion in 2012, $20.532 billion in 2013 (+$977 million)
    • Commerce - $52.744 billion in 2012, $50.210 billion in 2013 (-$2.534 billion)
    • Defense - $633.229 billion in 2012, $604.900 billion in 2013 (-$28.329 billion)
    • Homeland Security - $39.600 billion in 2012, $39.609 billion in 2013 (+$9 million)
    • Military Construction and VA - $71.7 billion in 2012, $71.9 billion in 2013 (+$200 million)

    Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) had threatened to put all remaining FY2013 funding into a CR, a move that would cut additional spending for Defense and Military Construction/VA included in the House CR, if the Senate got “greedy” in its CR.

    There is another hurdle for the Senate CR before dealing with House Republicans because it must still get 60 votes on the Senate floor to win passage in the upper chamber. Given the bipartisan nature of the bill, however, most experts believe it has a good shot of passage in the Senate.