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Entries in Government Funding (7)

Wednesday
Mar202013

Senate Passes Stopgap Bill to Fund Government

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate did its part Wednesday to stave off a government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution in order to keep the government funded.

The continuing resolution, known in Washington shorthand as the CR, is a stopgap appropriations measure. Congress is up against a March 27 deadline to keep the government funded through September, the end of the fiscal year.

The bill passed with a vote of 73-26 and now heads over to the House of Representatives for final passage.

Important to note, especially in context of Senate Democrats’ stripping out the assault-weapons ban within their gun legislation this week, is that the CR’s base bill includes making four longstanding gun protections permanent.

Also included in the Senate’s updated CR are many amendments that help alleviate the impact of budget cuts resulting from the so-called sequester. One bipartisan amendment passed today will shift money in the budget to avoid furloughs of food-safety inspectors because of the sequester.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., had an amendment that aimed to force the White House to reopen White House tours. The amendment would redirect $6 million in funds toward preserving visitor services and maintenance activities at national parks such as the White House and Yellowstone.

The amendment failed and Democrats argued that it would not have helped reopen White House tours, anyway.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said today, “Those tours are governed by the Secret Service budget, which is not part of this amendment. So that would not be affected.”

The Senate bill keeps the same spending levels as the House bill, setting the top-line overall rate of spending at $982 billion, down from $1.043 trillion the previous fiscal year, but adds three appropriations measures: for homeland security and commerce; agriculture; and justice and science funds.

Since the bill was tweaked by the Senate, it now must be passed again by the House of Representatives.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said that so far it does not look as though the Senate’s changes to the CR will cause much of an uproar in the House of Representatives, meaning the bill as produced by the Senate could be easily and swiftly passed to President Obama for his final signature.

“I’ll wait and see what the Senate produces once it comes off the floor,” Boehner said last week of the Senate’s bill. “So far, so good.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul312012

Congressional Leaders Strike Deal on Government Funding

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner today announced a six-month agreement to avert a government shutdown. But the deal relies on existing spending levels and punts a larger spending battle to next January after whoever gets elected this November takes office.

“We’ve got an agreement,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said today following the Democrats weekly caucus lunch. “This is very good, because we can resolve these critical issues that directly affect the country soon as the election's over and move on to do good things. It puts this out of the way, and that's very important.”

Congress will not pass the legislation before the August recess, but leaders said they expect to vote on it shortly after returning from a five-week recess September 10.

“During the August district work period, committee members and their staff will write legislation that can be passed by the House and Senate in September and sent to President Obama to be signed into law,” Boehner, R-Ohio, wrote in a statement announcing the deal.

Current funding runs out on Sept 30, leaving just eight legislative days on the House schedule after Labor Day to get something passed through both chambers.  An appropriations aide said the committee “won’t even start writing [the continuing resolution] until we get updated info from CBO/OMB in late August.”

One senior House GOP leadership aide said that the deal takes the issue “off the table” ahead of the election this fall and will “keep the larger focus on jobs, the economy, and President Obama’s failed economic policies.”

“That’s where Republicans win and Democrats lose,” the aide said.

The funding levels in the agreement will correspond to the top-line funding level of $1.047 trillion, agreed to last summer in the Budget Control Act, and push the next spending battle to the 113th Congress.

Further details of the agreement were not immediately clear. One remaining question is whether Republicans will fund certain provisions from the Affordable Care Act in the CR, but GOP leaders are hoping to avoid the distraction of a potential government shutdown. Boehner has hinted that the House could allow the provisions of current law to be implemented and funded, since the GOP’s efforts to repeal the law have been futile.

“I expect that we'll have an agreement with the Senate on a CR. As you all know, CRs do contain some changes but usually not many changes, and…the House has voted now 33 times to defund and repeal and change Obamacare,” Boehner told reporters July 24. “Our goal would be to make sure the government is funded and any political talk of a government shutdown is put to rest.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr092011

House Passes Short-Term Deal, Extends Gov't Funding Through Thursday

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The House voted early Saturday morning to approve a short-term bridge and avoid a government shutdown. Although the vote was after midnight, the legislation was designed to retroactively fund the 40-minute lapse in funding.

The vote was approved by a bipartisan count of 348-70. Twenty-eight Republicans and 42 Democrats voted against the bill; fifteen members missed the vote.

When he announced the compromise late Friday evening, House Speaker John Boehner said he was pleased that he was able to come to an agreement with Sen. Harry Reid and the White House on a deal “that will in fact cut spending and will keep our government open.”

“As you all know, this has been a long discussion and a long fight, but we fought to keep government spending down because it really will in fact help create a better environment for job creators in our country,” Boehner said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar172011

Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Plan; Three More Weeks to Solve Funding Mess

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate Thursday passed a bill to extend government funding for three more weeks, preventing a federal shutdown at the end of this week and buying lawmakers additional time to try to reach a long-term funding deal.

The Senate passed the three-week funding bill by a vote of 87-13 Thursday afternoon. The senators voting against the bill were Republicans Mike Crapo, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Orrin Hatch, Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, James Risch, and Marco Rubio; Democrats Carl Levin, Patty Murray and Jay Rockefeller; and independent Bernie Sanders.

Since the measure has already passed the House, it now moves on to President Obama’s desk. But even though the Senate has just passed the new three-week bill to cut $6 billion in funding -- the sixth temporary spending bill during the current fiscal year -- the fight over the next spending measure has already begun.

Any additional funding bills must include the Pentagon budget money through the end of the year, the Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, warned this week. Meanwhile, 23 GOP senators have vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling later this year unless the White House agrees to tackle entitlement programs in the budget talks.

Across the aisle, the Senate’s number-three Democrat, Chuck Schumer, has called on House Speaker John Boehner to “abandon” the Tea Party in the talks, warning that “it’s the only way out of this bind.”

For now, with lawmakers set to spend next week in recess, at least government funding has been extended through April 8. How to extend funding through the end of the current fiscal year remains an unanswered question.

Copyright 2011 ABC news Radio 

Thursday
Mar172011

House of Representatives to Weigh in on Funding for NPR

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the wake of an undercover sting by conservative activists that cost two NPR executives their jobs and renewed the debate about public broadcasting in the United States, the House of Representatives will vote Thursday on whether to end funding for NPR.

The House voted earlier this year to end funding for all public broadcasting.  Both measures have run into resistance in the Senate.

The bill bars stations from using their federal grants to pay for NPR programing.

"The government doesn't have to be subsidizing the media," says bill sponsor and Colorado Republican Doug Lamborn.  "No one's saying let's eliminate them and make them go away.  We're just saying, let them survive and stand on their own."

NPR supporters are hoping the GOP effort will work in their favor.

"That's one thing that the Doug Lamborn's do," says Wayne Roth, who runs an NPR station in Seattle.

Roth says he expects a spike in donations, "but it's not a permanent funding solution."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb162011

Government Forecast: Chance of Shutdown

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- There is a three-pronged budget war between President Obama and Republicans in Washington and it has politicians uttering a word they haven't used since 1994: shutdown.

On one front: the fight over what programs to cut next year.  On another: whether to extend the ever-rising debt ceiling again.  And then there is the confrontation that could have the most immediate impact: whether the federal government will be shut down next month.

Government funding is due to run out March 4 when the latest continuing resolution expires.  If Congress fails to act, then the government would shut down.

In recent days Democrats have repeatedly called for Republicans to take the prospect of a shutdown off the table, a call that Jack Lew, the Office of Management and Budget director, reiterated Wednesday.

"We all want to avoid a situation like that.  It's not the right way to run the government and I think we have a broad agreement that we need to keep essential services going," Lew said.

But the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), had a different view.  "It is not our desire to see the government shutdown, but equally we don't want to rubber-stamp these elevated spending levels."

Even if the shutdown is avoided, at some point later this spring the national debt is set to hit its current $14.3 trillion limit.  If Congress fails to act on the administration's request to raise the debt limit, then the government would have trouble refinancing its debt, taking in money to continue operations, and even default would be a possibility.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep292010

Congress Struggles to Pass Government Funding Bill

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Only days remain before lawmakers leave Capitol Hill to focus on campaigning for their jobs in Congress.  Yet, on the eve of their departure, they have not fulfilled their most basic duty of funding the government.  Not a single appropriations bill has passed Congress this year, leaving the government at risk of shutting down later this week. It won't happen, but it's another telling sign of the bipartisan stalemate in the nation's capital.  Democrats blame Republicans for obstructing their plans and blindly blocking every proposal.  Republicans, in turn, blame Democrats for ignoring their suggestions and stubbornly trying to jam every proposal down their throats.

The only solution to keep the government running once the fiscal year ends on Thursday is to pass a stop-gap funding bill. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to proceed to debate on the bill, which would keep the government funded at 2010 levels through early December.  The bill seems likely to pass the Senate sometime Wednesday, paving the way for Congress to adjourn until after the November election.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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