The stopgap spending bill approved Tuesday by the House is expected to be passed later this week by the Senate, keeping the federal government running for three more weeks after the current continuing resolution expires March 18.
If this stopgap is cleared by Congress, party leaders will turn their focus to reaching agreement on a full-year fiscal 2011 spending bill before another short-term measure is needed. Bipartisan talks led by the White House are ongoing, with some lawmakers cautiously optimistic that a deal could be struck, reported CQ Today.
John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to offer an amendment to the new stopgap bill in the Senate that would fund DOD through the end of the fiscal year. The move most likely would be rejected, as lawmakers from both parties want to keep the fate of a defense spending bill linked to that of the rest of the federal government, according to CQ Today.
The stopgap passed by the House would cut $6 billion from current funding levels, targeting programs that are not considered controversial. It proposes to reduce or terminate 25 federal programs — many of which were not included in the president’s budget request — for a savings of $3.5 billion. The House plan also would eliminate $2.6 billion in FY 2010 earmarks that have been automatically renewed in this year’s continuing resolutions.
The bill does not call for cuts to any DOD or military construction accounts.