House to Vote This Week on Spending Bill to Avoid Shutdown

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., included the spending measure in his weekly legislative schedule after lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following a month-long recess. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., included the spending measure in his weekly legislative schedule after lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following a month-long recess. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The House plans to vote this week on a continuing resolution to fund government past the end of the fiscal year, according to Republican leadership.

Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., included the spending measure in his weekly legislative schedule after lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following a month-long recess. The current resolution providing money for federal government activity will expire Sept. 30, though Congress has scheduled another recess for the week of Sept. 23. Without a spending measure, the government would shut down Oct. 1.

With a limited number of days to work -- and a congressional focus largely turning to President Obama’s request for legislative authorization of a military strike in Syria -- Congress has become increasingly short on time.

Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee’s Republicans, would not reveal details of the bill -- such as how long it would provide funding -- but said the committee would release it as soon as Tuesday.

Congress has worked on passing regular appropriations bills over the last several months, with the House passing four of the 12 requisite individual measures, while the full Senate has not passed any. The Senate’s appropriations committee has cleared 11 of the 12 spending bills, however.

If all 12 appropriations bills passed both chambers, it would negate the need for a continuing resolution. With the current time crunch, however, lawmakers have decided to opt for the faster, and more temporary, solution.

An aide for Sen. Barbara Milkulski, D-Md., chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told Government Executive the panel will take up the continuing resolution after it clears the House.

The spending measure would likely maintain most funding at current levels, and would again be subject to sequestration cuts in the amount the funds exceed caps set in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act. The across-the-board cuts would require about $109 billion in spending reductions in fiscal 2014 if Congress does not agree to another plan. 

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