2013 US budget debate: Senate appropriations bill builds on House's measure
By Daniel Wasserbly
The US Senate has started work on its version of a Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) appropriations bill meant to replace the stop-gap measure that is currently funding the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies at around last year's budget levels.
If approved by the full Senate, this legislation will then have to be reconciled with a rather different appropriations bill that was passed by the House of Representatives on 6 March.
Late on 11 March the Senate Appropriations Committee finalised legislation to supplant the Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on 27 March - at which point the government would be 'shutdown' as there would be no funding - with a hybrid measure that keeps some agencies under a restrictive CR, but provides others, including the DoD, with more leeway to shift money between accounts. It does not address the sequestration measure that is currently subjecting many Pentagon accounts to a 7.8% reduction.
Still, the Senate committee's Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 includes less restrictive funding provisions for the departments of Defense, Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, and Homeland Security.182 of 735 words
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