posted on February 26, 2013 16:07
U.S. Congressional leaders are already shifting their focus to the next spending battle after the automatic budget sequester takes effect on March 1 — how to keep the government running.
The current budget continuing resolution, or CR, expires on March 27. If Congress does not act before then, the federal government faces the threat of a shutdown.
House Republicans are gearing up for a bill spearheaded by Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) which would keep the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year at the post-sequester spending levels of $974 billion. The bill is expected to be brought to the House floor as soon as next week.
Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leaders are waiting to see what the House can pass and how the votes break down before devising their plans. Although Senate Democratic leaders are engaged in conversations with their House Republican counterparts about the expiring continuing resolution to fund the government, they have not communicated a strategy for handling the CR to the Democratic caucus.
A Democratic Senate aide told National Journal, “We feel pretty confident about our messaging looking past the sequester and towards the CR — that if Republicans are coming in at this lower number, that we will have some kind of a better story to tell about how we are still working to replace sequestration and we will be able to fund defense and nondefense at higher levels.”