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Federal Government Weekly Update

 
 

9/12/2014

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEEE ON APPROPRIATIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today introduced a short term Continuing Resolution (CR) (H.J.Res.124) to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2014. 

The legislation continues funding for government programs and services at the current annual cap rate of $1.012 trillion until December 11, 2014. This rate of funding will remain in place for the length of the continuing resolution, or until Congress approves the annual Appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2015. The bill is "clean" and does not contain highly controversial provisions.

Chairman Rogers gave the following statement on the introduction of the CR:

"We have reached the point where a Continuing Resolution is necessary to keep the government functioning and avoid another shutdown. It is a critical piece of legislation, and my Committee has crafted the bill in a responsible, restrained way that should draw wide support in the House and Senate. This bill is free of controversial riders, maintains current levels, and does not seek to change existing federal policies.

"However, this is a temporary, imperfect measure that does not reflect the changing needs of the nation or new budget priorities. In order to adequately address the country's real and urgent budgetary requirements, it is imperative that Congress fulfill its Constitutional duty and enact actual, line-by-line Appropriations legislation for the next fiscal year.

"The House has made great strides in completing this vital work, approving 11 Appropriations bills in Committee and seven on the floor of the House. Unfortunately, the Senate has failed to approve a single one. While the Continuing Resolution introduced today will buy us time, Senate leadership must allow the completion of Appropriations legislation to fund the entire federal government - not continue on this path of piecemeal, lurching, short-term bills that punt on hard budget decisions and cultivate uncertainty in our government and our economy."

 

Continuing Resolution Summary:

Length and Level of Funding - The CR extends funding for operations for all federal agencies, programs and services until December 11, 2014. The bill provides funding at the current annual rate of $1.012 trillion.

General Items - Virtually all existing policy and funding provisions included in currently enacted fiscal year 2014 Appropriations legislation will carry forward in this CR. The bill does not include new controversial riders, or large changes in existing federal policy.

However, the CR does include some changes to existing law that are needed to prevent catastrophic, irreversible, or detrimental changes to government programs, to address current national or global crises, or to ensure good government. These provisions are funded within the total level of funding in the legislation. Some of these provisions include:

  • A provision to extend expiring Department of Defense activities, including counter-drug operations, support to the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq, and rewards for assistance in combatting terrorism.
  • A provision to continue a surge in funding for State Department programs to counter regional aggression toward Ukraine and other former Soviet Union countries.
  • Several provisions to ensure appropriate treatment of veterans and continued oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs, such as additional funds for disability claims processing, and funds for investigations into potential improper conduct including "waitlist" and "whistleblower" allegations.
  • A provision allowing funding flexibility for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to maintain staffing levels, border security operations, detention space, and immigration enforcement activities.
  • Provisions to address the recent Ebola crisis, including additional funding to accelerate HHS research on Ebola therapies, and additional funding for the Centers for Disease Control's response to the growing outbreak in Africa.
  • A provision allowing additional funds to offset food price increases in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program to ensure that no current recipients are removed from the program.
  • A provision allowing funding flexibility to maintain weather satellite programs, ensuring the continuation of data for weather warnings and forecasts, including forecasts of severe weather events.
  • A provision allowing the continuation of current funding for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.
  • A provision extending the operating authority for the Export-Import Bank through June 30, 2015.
  • A provision extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act through the period of the CR ending on December 11, 2014.

For the full text of the legislation, please click: here