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Congress Sends Stopgap Funding Bill to President

March 22, 2013—The House of Representatives March 21 approved, 318-109, an FY 2013 spending package (H.R. 933) to provide funding for federal programs through Sept. 30.  The House action came a day after the Senate approved the measure, 73-26. The president is expected to sign the measure.  The current continuing resolution (P.L. 112-175) expires March 27.

Prior to final passage, the Senate adopted a substitute amendment by Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Vice Chair Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) to amend the original spending package approved by the House March 6 [see Washington Highlights, March 8]. The Mikulski-Shelby amendment adds three full-year spending bills to the package: Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science; and Homeland Security.  The original House version included full-year bills for Defense and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs.

Apart from certain anomalies, the final package continues funding for most programs in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriation at FY 2012 level; however, the bill does not avert across-the-board cuts of 5.1 percent due to sequestration.  The Mikulski-Shelby amendment added $71 million to NIH’s baseline, before sequestration.

By unanimous consent the Senate approved a modified amendment by Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) to prohibit the National Science Foundation (NSF) from conducting political science research unless the research is certified by the Director of NSF “as promoting national security of the economic interests” of the United States.  An earlier version of the amendment would have reduced the NSF budget by $10 million and transferred $7 million to the National Cancer Institute.

The Senate did not consider a Coburn amendment to restrict the participation of federal employees in conferences.  Under the MilCon-VA division E, the final package includes language that prohibits funding for more than 50 employees to attend a conference outside of the United States, unless their attendance is “important to the national interest.”


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
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