Continuing Resolution-Government Shutdown Saga Continues

September 30, 2013


The legislative priority of the week in Congress is a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will provide funds for the federal government past September 30 (today). If the House and Senate fail to come to an agreement midnight tonight, then the government will shut down for the first time since 1996. Neither chamber has announced its business after today, so here is a re-cap of recent events related to the CR:

. Senate continues to demand a “clean” continuing resolution (i.e., no language that defunds Obamacare or other non-appropriations measures) and plans to vote today to table the changes made over the weekend by the House, including a 1-year delay in implementing the President’s health-care law.

·The Senate sent the CR back over to the House for consideration. The House agreed to it and added two amendments. The first amendment would repeal the medical device tax, which passed with a 248-174 vote. The second amendment would delay the implementation of ObamaCare by one year, which year passed with a 231-192 vote. The Senate is very unlikely to accept these changes.

·The House subsequently passed a separate continuing resolution providing funds for military pay in the event of a government shutdown. The Senate will probably approve this legislation.

·After a week-long debate, the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) with a 54-44 vote, which was along party lines. Before final passage, Senate Democrats stripped out the provision that would defund the President’s health care law before sending it back to the House. Therefore, this CR provides funds for the federal government until November 15 at the $986 billion level and does not include language to defund ObamaCare.

·AFP urged a NO vote on final passage in the Senate because this legislation exceeded the already-agreed-upon spending caps. We will include this vote in our congressional scorecard.

·Previous to the vote on final passage, the Senate voted on a motion to waive the spending caps. This is a very important vote because it shows whether members of Congress are serious about spending control. The motion to waive the spending caps passed with a 68-30 vote. All 52 Senate Democrats and 2 Independents voted YEA to waive the spending caps. Republicans were divided—30 voted to respect the spending caps, and 14 voted to break them.

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