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Continuing resolution debuts in House

The leader of the House Appropriations Committee this week introduced a continuing resolution that would fund the government until mid-December and head off the threat of a shutdown.

The leader of the House Appropriations Committee this week introduced a continuing resolution that would fund the government until mid-December and head off the threat of a shutdown.

Starting at the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, the bill (H.J. Res. 59), introduced Sept. 10 by Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), would continue funding for government programs and services at the current, post-sequestration annual rate until Dec. 15, or until Congress approves annual appropriations legislation for fiscal 2014, should that occur sooner.

“The continuing resolution introduced today is simply a temporary measure to keep the lights on in government until this Congress can fulfill its duty by approving appropriations bills for the next fiscal year," Rogers said in a statement. "This bill is free of controversial riders, maintains current funding levels, and does not seek to change existing federal policies."

The CR is "not the preferred way of doing the nation’s financial work," Rogers noted.

“Our country desperately needs a long-term budget solution that ends the draconian cuts put into place by sequestration, and that provides for a responsible, sustainable, and attainable federal budget," Rogers said. "It is my hope that this stopgap legislation will provide time for all sides to come together to reach this essential goal.”

While Rogers said the bill does not seek to change existing policies, the bill does require certain changes to law within current funding levels, according to an outline from the committee, "to prevent catastrophic, irreversible, or detrimental impacts on government programs, or to ensure good government and program oversight."

Among those provisions, the bill provides additional funding or funding flexibility to support staffing at Customs and Border Protection Immigration and Customs Enforcement, wildfire suppression efforts at the Interior Department and the Forest Service, and disability claims processing at the Veterans Benefits Administration—as well as provisions to continue funding for pandemic flu preparedness and chemical or biological attack response efforts, and provide funding flexibility for maintenance of weather satellite programs.

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