U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Vice Chairman on the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced U.S. Senate approval of H.R. 933, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act. The Senate bill, which passed by a vote of 73 to 26, funds the government through September 30, 2013, the end of Fiscal Year 2013. The passage of this legislation represents a concerted effort on the part of both Senator Shelby and Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) to work together to avoid yet another last minute crisis in Washington. The legislation fully complies with Budget Control Act spending caps and keeps the sequester in place while providing additional flexibility for agencies implementing budget cuts. Additional background on the legislation is below:
"This is an important step in breaking from crisis mode in Washington," said Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). "Chairwoman Mikulski and I set out to prevent a government shutdown, provide flexibility for those implementing budget cuts, and produce a bill that both parties in both chambers can support. It is my hope that the tone we set in meeting these objectives for the current fiscal year will carry over to our work on subsequent appropriations bills. We must continue to work together to replace a last minute, shotgun approach to reducing spending with a deliberate, targeted process."
"Working across the aisle and across the dome, the Senate has come together to prevent a government shutdown," said Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). "I am so proud the Senate bill protects national security while meeting compelling human needs. It makes investments in human infrastructure like early childhood education. And it creates jobs today and jobs tomorrow by supporting research and innovation. I thank my Vice Chairman, Senator Shelby, for his support and hard work. I look forward to swift action in the House so we can focus on passing a budget, ending sequestration, and getting back to regular order."
The original House CR contained two full bills, for Defense and for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. The Senate bill expands on the House bill, adding three domestic bills, including: Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, Science; and Homeland Security. In addition, the Senate added a number of critical provisions, to enable the government to meet its mission-critical obligations.
The bill now returns to the House for its consideration.
No new funding for Obamacare.
No new funding for the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law.
No state-specific earmarks.
Prohibits transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to the United States.
Provides additional funding for worldwide diplomatic and facility security in the post-Benghazi environment.
Enables Department of Defense to better-implement sequester: increases DOD transfer authority for reprogramming, thus mitigating a portion of the national security impact of the sequester and other across-the-board cuts.
Ensures veterans' programs receive adequate funding ($2.5 billion above FY12 levels for VA discretionary spending).
Provides a $3.1 billion increase over FY 12 in assistance to Israel.
Rescinds $10 million from Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB, i.e. the "rationing board").
Keeps in place the pay freeze for federal employees for the remainder of fiscal year 2013.
Prohibits distribution of any funds to ACORN, its subsidiaries, or successors.
Continues a provision to clarify the prohibition of federal funds being used to lobby state and local legislative and executive authorities.
The Continuing Resolution continues a $5 million dedicated funding stream for abstinence-only grants within the Office of Adolescent Health.