Congress worked on an agreement during the week of July 30 on the broad framework for an FY13 continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government once the new fiscal year starts on October 1. Congress has not yet passed any of its 12 appropriations bills for FY13 and is expected to postpone decisions on funding until after the November elections. The CR agreement averts a showdown between Democrats and Republicans and Congress and the Administration on FY13 spending levels before the fiscal year begins.
In the framework, Democrats and Republicans agreed to a six-month CR, funding the government between October 1, 2012 and April 30, 2013. House Republicans pushed for the six-month extension, hoping the November election will give them a majority in both the House and Senate as well as a Republican in the White House. Senate Democrats had originally discussed a shorter-term CR but agreed to a six month time frame, as did the Administration.
House and Senate leadership also agreed that the CR would be $1.047 trillion, the spending cap agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). The House 302(a) allocation for its FY13 spending bills used a lower figure, while the Senate Committee on Appropriations adhered to the BCA cap in its appropriations bills.
According to the framework, a CR would extend funding at the FY12 spending level for most programs, with exceptions for those that could not continue to operate at that funding level. The Administration has begun the process of identifying programs that would need additional funding allocated through a CR in order to continue operations in FY13. For HUD, the project-based Section 8, housing choice voucher, and public housing operating fund could see so-called “anomaly” funding in the final CR.
Congress is expected to work to finalize the CR in September when it returns from its August district work period.