Right on schedule
“The bill does not include new or controversial riders, or changes in existing federal policy,” according to a summary of the legislation. Indeed, aside from some small revisions to allow continued functionality of and flexibility within certain agencies, the stopgap spending measure to float the government from the end of this month through Dec. 15 is altogether “clean.”
It does, however, hold funding levels at $986.3 billion, which is slightly below the current sequester-era top line of $988 billion. Democrats have signaled they are likely to vote against any CR set to those levels, calling instead for a full replacement of the sequester or at least revisions to bring parity between defense and domestic spending cuts.
“Our country desperately needs a long-term budget solution that ends the draconian cuts put into place by sequestration, and that provides for a responsible, sustainable, and attainable federal budget,” said Rogers, who last month unleashed a scathing indictment of the sequester and its harmful effect on the ability to pass standalone appropriations measures through the House. “It is my hope that this stopgap legislation will provide time for all sides to come together to reach this essential goal.”
Though the CR itself contains no language to defund the president’s signature health care legislation, an accompanying concurrent resolution to be made in order under the same rule would essentially force the Senate to hold an up or down vote on dismantling Obamacare as a condition of voting on the House-passed spending bill.
It remains unclear whether this legislative maneuver has enough support to garner even a sufficient number of GOP votes for the rule for the CR, given how many members have pledged to oppose any spending bill that doesn’t fully defund the health law.