Work to halt government shutdown put off

July 30, 2012 at 4:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) -- U.S. House of Representative Republicans won't move forward this week on a spending bill designed to avert a government shutdown, aides said.

Instead, Congress will leave for its five-week August recess without voting on a continuing resolution, or even introducing one until September, The Hill reported Monday.

"No CR [continuing resolution] this week," one GOP aide said.

Without congressional action to keep the government operating, the federal offices would close after Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

The House will have eight legislative days in September in which to complete its work before the election.

A drive began last week for a six-month continuing resolution at current spending levels, likely using the $1.04 trillion projected spending rate for 2012, The Hill said. The figure is $4 billion less than the Budget Control Act's top number for 2013, but $15 billion more than the level set in the House-passed budget resolution.

The House Appropriations Committee has started developing its 12 annual budget bills based on its budget number, while the Senate has been using the Budget Control Act's figure.

The congressional resolution would delay a final resolution on the spending level differences -- and on dozens of policy riders -- until the spring of 2013, after the November elections and the new Congress convenes.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also spoke in favor of a bill that lasts beyond the December lame-duck session. Analysts told The Hill Reid's move could be viewed as a calculation that the resolution should not be included in a fight over expiring tax rates and automatic sequester cuts, where Democrats think they have an advantage.

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