Federal Daily News
GOP continuing resolution keeps sequester cuts, extends pay freeze
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) on March 4 introduced a continuing resolution to fund government operations until the end of fiscal 2013. While the CR preserves sequester cuts across most of the government, it also includes exceptions for items such as military pay, veterans affairs, and national security.
The bill (H.R. 933) also includes two other bills that provide a full year of defense and military construction/veterans affairs appropriations. An outline of the bill on the committee's website noted that those two bills passed the House last year and have been negotiated by both the House and Senate.
The defense bill includes $127.5 billion for military personnel and pay that is exempted from sequestration, including a 1.7 percent pay raise for the military. The military construction/veterans affairs bill includes $133.9 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, all of which is exempt from sequestration.
The CR also contains exceptions aimed at preserving national security, including provisions to allow Customs and Border Protection and the FBI to maintain current staffing levels, and to provide additional funding for federal prisons, wildfire suppression and new weather satellites, among other things. The bill also contains a provision to extend the civilian pay freeze, the committee said.
The remainder of the continuing resolution holds most other funding at last year’s levels, subject to sequestration cuts.
“The legislation will avoid a government shutdown on March 27th, prioritize DOD and veterans programs, and allow the Pentagon some leeway to do its best with the funding it has,” Rogers said in a statement. "This bill will fund essential federal programs and services, help maintain our national security, and take a potential shutdown off the table.”
According to the committee, the bill "brings top-line overall rate of spending in the CR down to the sequestration level of approximately $982 billion."