Skip to main content

House passes GOP measure on government funding

By Tom Cohen, CNN
updated 3:17 PM EST, Wed March 6, 2013
A Republican measure to keep the government funded through September passed in the House Wednesday.
A Republican measure to keep the government funded through September passed in the House Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Continuing resolution now goes to the Senate
  • It extends government funding through September, and includes forced spending cuts
  • Senate Democrats are expected to make changes that will require negotiations
  • Without a funding extension, the government faces a partial shutdown March 27

Washington (CNN) -- A Republican measure to keep the government funded through September while softening the impact of forced spending cuts on the military and veterans affairs programs won approval from the GOP-led House on Wednesday.

The proposal, known as a continuing resolution, passed by a 267-151 vote, with more than 50 Democrats joining most Republicans in supporting it.

It now goes to the Democratic-led Senate, which is expected to make changes to further soften the impact of the forced spending cuts on non-military programs.

RNC wants Democrats to 'admit' spending problem

The continuing resolution is needed to extend authorization for government spending beyond the current March 27 deadline.

A partial government shutdown would occur if Congress fails to extend funding authorization by the deadline in three weeks' time, but leaders of both parties say they don't want another political showdown over the legislation.

Under the proposal sponsored by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, total government spending for the fiscal year that ends September 30 would adhere to the figure negotiated by President Barack Obama and Congress in 2011.

Spending cuts close doors on White House tours

The measure also includes the forced spending cuts -- known in Washington jargon as sequestration -- that took effect last Friday when Obama and congressional Republicans were unable to reach a compromise to replace or avert them.

However, it would allow Pentagon and Veterans Affairs officials to shift funding to protect top priority programs, and also include provisions to maintain FBI and border security spending.

"This is a bill to keep the government operating while we debate then how we deal with sequestration," Rogers argued on the House floor before Wednesday's vote.

Democrats responded that the continuing resolution and the forced spending cuts it incorporates would leave vital domestic programs such as Head Start underfunded for the rest of the fiscal year.

They call for Republicans to negotiate an alternative to the forced spending cuts to prevent the harshest effects from occurring.

"This is a bill that reinforces the sequester," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

Why spending cuts may be here to stay

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Forced Budget Cuts
Share your story, along with a photo of yourself.
United States Marines are being told to preserve ammunition and gasoline as a deal softening the impact of automatic spending cuts continues to elude leaders in Washington.
Our interactive table tracks major areas of the federal government where an impact has been projected and what has actually happened.
CNN's Tom Foreman answered questions about how forced budget cuts will impact you.
For the most part, the ramifications would kick in over months, not several days or weeks.
The political bickering over the automatic spending cuts has done little but cloud the public's understanding of what's going on and why. So we'll try to set the record straight on at least a few oft-repeated misconceptions.
We've had enough of the Beltway's wacky terms. Using fancy-pants words to dramatize and complicate otherwise simple concepts is becoming a habit of lawmakers.
updated 9:28 AM EST, Tue February 19, 2013
Here we go: A new round of confrontation between the White House and Congress over the federal budget is in the offing, this time in a new attempt to avert the looming "sequestration" process.
updated 1:24 PM EST, Thu February 21, 2013
Most Americans will feel the impact of forced budget cuts when their lives intersect with government -- trying to get through airport security to make a flight, visiting a national park, or using federal programs or assistance.
updated 2:16 PM EST, Wed February 27, 2013
Forced budget cuts aren't the only fiscal headache facing Congress. On March 27, the so-called continuing resolution that funds federal programs runs out and the government could shut down.
updated 7:10 AM EST, Mon February 25, 2013
Dan Malloy, Haley Barbour, Gwen Ifill, and Jackie Calmes consider who will take the blame if budget cuts go forward.
updated 9:46 PM EST, Fri March 1, 2013
Two days after a Federal Aviation Administration official told contractors that steps were being taken to shut down 168 air traffic control towers on April 1, the agency gave the towers an unexpected reprieve Friday, saying the official's comments were "unauthorized."
updated 9:29 AM EST, Tue February 19, 2013
From military training to educational grants to border patrols to hurricane relief, federal agencies face $85 billion in automatic, government-wide spending cuts this year.
The sequester would touch many, many government programs and services. These 57 are a somewhat random sampling of what could happen.
How much will be cut? What would be affected? How quickly will the cuts hit? CNN Money answers these questions and more.
ADVERTISEMENT