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Update on Federal Appropriations

Both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives adjourned and left Washington for their annual August recess or “district work period”.  With the current 2012 fiscal year ending on September 30 none of the FY 2013 appropriations bills have been sent to President Obama’s desk for approval.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) already announced in July that no more appropriations bills are going to be brought to the Senate Floor for a vote.  What this all means is that there will not be a budget in place before that start of FY 2013.

Shortly before Congress went on recess, Senator Reid and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) struck a deal on a continuing resolution (CR) that would avoid a government shutdown on October 1.  All the details of this CR are not yet available and there are still more questions than answers with it.  However, the CR is reported to fund the federal government for six months (presumably lasting until sometime in March 2013).   Furthermore, more questions arise with this CR because it has been reported that the CR will funded at the level set in the FY 2013 Budget Control Act (BCA) which was set at $1.047 trillion.  Typically a CR would simply fund everything at last year’s (FY 2012) level.  That total is $1.043 trillion.  So it is assumed right now that this CR would have to allocate the extra $4 billion among programs, however how that is done is not clear, and it is not clear how this will affect library programs.

Congress is expected to pass this CR after they return from the August recess on September 10.

To view the levels that have been marked-up (voted on) by the various House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees, please check here.

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Jeffrey Kratz

Jeffrey Kratz is a former member of the Washington Office government relations team.

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