Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced on July 31 that they and President Obama have agreed on a plan to fund the government for the first six months of the new fiscal year, thus avoiding a pre-election battle over spending for FY13, which begins on October 1. The continuing resolution (CR) would fund the government through March 2013 at the overall discretionary spending level approved in last year’s Budget Control Act. This level has been used by the Senate for the FY13 appropriations process, but the House has used a figure $19 billion below that level. The CR will be drafted over the August recess, and Congress will wait until September to vote on the bill.
The CR will not take into account the looming sequestration, and so it will be interesting to see how agencies release funding opportunities through January.