NACo > Legislation & Policy > Washington Watch > Posts > ​Continuing Resolution (CR) Sets Final FY 2013 Spending Levels
March 22
​Continuing Resolution (CR) Sets Final FY 2013 Spending Levels
The Senate and House agreed to a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through Sept. 30, which is the end of the 2013 federal fiscal year.  Senators voted 73 to 26 on March 20 to approve the bipartisan legislation.  The House quickly passed the CR with no changes on March 21 by a vote of 318-109 and President Obama has indicated he will sign the bill.  The bill had stalled on the Senate floor due to disagreements over what amendments would be considered in the chamber, but appropriators reached bipartisan consensus with leadership on both sides to move forward.  The fiscal 2013 spending package (H.R. 933) maintains an overall spending level of $984 billion which locks in the $85 billion in sequester cuts.  The bill does not contain wider reprogramming authority which would have given agencies more latitude to implement sequestration.

Ordinarily a CR continues funding for federal departments and agencies at the prior year’s level, but this CR locks in the $85 billion in sequestration or automatic, across-the-board cuts of 5 percent for domestic discretionary programs.  The funding measure includes detailed appropriation language for five of the 12 FY 2013 spending bills — Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Homeland Security, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs and Defense — and added exceptions to other appropriation bills sought by lawmakers.  The five spending bills attached to the CR are entirely new versions based on negotiated compromises between House and Senate appropriators and represent three-quarters of the federal operating budget.  For the most part, all domestic discretionary programs and agencies funded through these bills would receive an across the board cut of 5 percent and will still likely implement furlough programs in the coming months.  However, some programs were maintained at current levels with wider across the board cuts to other programs used to make up the difference.  The remaining seven bills would continue funding at current levels minus the across the board cuts for the final six months of fiscal 2013 with some spending changes (known as anomalies) inserted.

The bill does not delve into controversial policy matters such as implementation of the Affordable Care Act or the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul.  The measure adheres to the top line spending allocation in the original House-passed continuing resolution, H.R. 933, but it would shift about $1.15 billion in FY 2013 funding.  Among the 12 appropriations bills, Interior-Environment would take the largest hit, being cut $779 million to $29.8 billion; Transportation-HUD would get the largest increase, rising by $385 million to $51.8 billion.  All bills, save for the State-Foreign Operations measure, would see at least some changes compared to the House version — but most of those revisions would entail less than one percent of their spending. 

NACo is analyzing the legislative language and will provide a detailed analysis of funding levels in the coming days.

Contact: Erik Johnston​ 202.942.4230


There are no comments for this post.