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Senate Approves Stop-Gap Funding Bill While House GOP Ponders Next Move

September 27, 2013—The Senate Sept. 27 passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running past Sept. 30 while conservative House Republicans rejected shifting their efforts to stop funding for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the debate over the federal debt limit.

The Senate approved, 54-44,  the House-passed CR (H.J.Res. 59) after approving amendments offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to strike the provision eliminating ACA funding and to change the date the CR expires from Dec. 15 to Nov. 15.

Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) proposed moving the CR’s expiration date to Nov. 15 to give appropriators time to complete the FY 2014 spending bills.  House Republicans are pushing for a cap of $967 billion while Senate Democrats have been drafting their spending bills using a cap of $1.058 trillion that assumes sequestration will be replaced.

The CR would fund the government through Dec. 15, at an annualized rate of $986.3 billion, slightly below the current, post-sequestration level of $988 billion.

Meanwhile, the possibility of a government shutdown loomed larger after House Republican leaders indicated they would reject the Senate-amended CR.  Asked if the House would accept the Senate-amended CR, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “I do not see that happening.”

House Republicans reportedly are considering bouncing the CR back to the Senate with smaller changes targeting specific elements in the health law such as repealing the medical device excise tax or blocking federal contributions to help pay for health care coverage for lawmakers and their staff. However, it is unlikely Senate Democrats would accept such changes and uncertain the bill could even clear the Senate’s procedural hurdles prior to the Sept. 30 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) Sept. 26 unveiled a proposal to delay the debt limit through the end of 2014 that also includes a one-year delay of implementation of the ACA and other provisions to attract Republican support, including language to expedite the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and put Congress on the path to tax reform.


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


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