The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee has proposed short-term spending legislation that would maintain current funding levels through mid-December and prevent a partial government shutdown after the last stopgap budget expires on Sept. 30.
The bill, from Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), is set to be taken up by House lawmakers on Thursday. It would continue the government-wide spending cuts known as the sequester, which took effect in March after Congress and the White House failed to reach an alternative deficit-reduction deal.
Rogers said the measure would “keep the lights on in government until this Congress can fulfill its duty by approving appropriations bills for the next fiscal year.” He added that the legislation is “free of controversial riders” and does not seek to change existing federal policies.
House GOP leaders have proposed a similar plan that would also defund the healthcare overhaul commonly known as Obamacare. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters Tuesday that they intend to keep the government open while forcing Senate Democrats to vote on the health law, which is unpopular among certain segments of the electorate.
The Rogers bill would fund the government at $986 billion while allowing funding flexibility for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to maintain current staffing and operations levels.
The legislation would also provide additional funding for wildfire suppression, processing veterans’ disability claims, maintaining weather-satellite programs and preparing for pandemic flu or a chemical or biological weapons attack.
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