WASHINGTON — A US House panel introduced legislation to avert a government shutdown by funding the Pentagon and other federal agencies at fiscal 2013 levels until mid-December.
With the Senate unable to pass appropriations bills, a stopgap funding measure called a continuing resolution will be needed to keep the federal government operating beyond Sept. 30.
The GOP-controlled House Appropriations Committee’s bill would fund the Defense Department and other agencies through Dec. 15. For the Pentagon, that means its many accounts and programs would continue to receive the same amounts of monies they got in 2013.
The enacted 2013 budget was $597 billion, or about $7 billion more than the 2014 budget request
But the panel’s bill contains language that would forbid DoD from starting new programs, beginning production of any item not already being produced in the current fiscal year, and other things.
“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,” panel Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said in a statement. “This bill is free of controversial riders, maintains current funding levels, and does not seek to change existing federal policies.
“This is not the preferred way of doing the nation’s financial work — this Congress can and should be passing regular appropriations bills that reflect the country’s changing fiscal needs and realities,” Rogers said. “However, given the late date, a Continuing Resolution is necessary to stop a government-wide shut down that would halt critical government programs and services, destabilize our economy, and put the safety and well-being of our citizens at risk.”
The full House is expected to vote on the measure this week.