WASHINGTON, September 14, 2012- The House passed a six-month continuing resolution last night to keep the government funded through March 2013. The Senate is expected to approve the bill next week.

The bill puts 2013 appropriations bills on hold, renewing 2012 spending levels for the short-term. Nutrition Title programs, particularly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamps, are continued under the resolution as mandatory spending.

Members voted 329-91 to maintain government spending at $1.047 trillion, the level agreed to in the 2011 Budget Control Act. Some House Republicans pushed for a lower funding level, at $1.028 trillion, that the House approved in the FY2013 Budget Resolution.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) objected to the CR “effectively preventing any new enrollments in FY 2013 for the Conservation Stewardship Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Grassland Reserve Program, and Chesapeake Bay Conservation Program.” 

“In the process of pulling this relatively simple legislation together, Congress managed to stop four farm bill conservation programs in their tracks,” according to NSAC, noting that it also “makes the job of finishing the new 5-year farm bill harder still by reducing the funding “baseline” that will be available for the long-term measure.” 

Last night, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas said House GOP leaders are in the process of trying to assess the potential vote count in anticipation of offering either a three-month or one-year farm bill extension up for a vote next week. 

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, Rep. Rick Berg, R-ND, and other lawmakers filed a discharge petition yesterday in an attempt to force a vote on HR. 6083, the five-year farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee.

The CR passed last night continues funding at the current rate of operations for federal agencies, programs and services, and provides funding for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, for relief and recovery following disasters such as the recent Hurricane Isaac.

For the text of the CR legislation, go here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hjres117ih/pdf/BILLS-112hjres117ih.pdf


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