Members of Congress return to Washington this week, the week of September 10, 2012. Congress is expected to be in session for approximately two weeks before recessing until the elections in November.
Both the House and Senate are expected to immediately begin work on a Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide funding in lieu of FY13 appropriations bills. The House approved H.J.Res 117 on September 13th by a vote of 329-91. All of the House members voted in favor. The Senate is expected to approve the legislation this week.
Congress has not yet passed any of its 12 appropriations bills for FY13. The Senate Committee on Appropriations marked up its FY13 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) spending bill, S. 2322, in April. The House passed its THUD bill, H.R. 5972, in June.
The Senate Appropriations Committee also passed its FY13 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies spending bill, S. 2375, in April; the House Appropriations Committee passed its Agriculture bill, H.R. 5973 in June.
Prior to their August recess, lawmakers struck an agreement to craft a six-month CR that would last from October 1, 2012, the start of the new fiscal year, through March 30, 2013. The CR agreement averts a showdown between Democrats and Republicans, and Congress and the Administration, on FY13 spending levels before the November elections.
The House and Senate leadership have settled on a CR totaling $1.047 trillion, the spending cap agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). The House 302(a) allocation for its FY13 spending bills used a lower figure, while the Senate Committee on Appropriations adhered to the BCA cap in its appropriations bills.