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article imagePresident signs bill to fund government until March 2013 Special

By Bill Lewis     Sep 28, 2012 in Politics
President Obama signed today House Joint Resolution 117; the bill will prevent a government shut down by funding the federal government through March 27, 2013.
The White House announced Friday that the President has signed House Joint Resolution 117, “which provides fiscal year 2013 appropriations for continuing projects and activities of the Federal Government through Wednesday, March 27, 2013.”
The law was passed in the House on September 13, 2012 329-91 with 9 Representatives not voting according to Govtrack.us which keeps track of Congressional voting records. They report it cleared the Senate on September 22, 2012 62-30 with 8 Senators not voting.
The vote was fairly even in the House with 165 Republicans and 164 Democrats voting to pass, however, in the Senate it was less so with 48 Democrats and only 12 Republicans voting for the bill.
According to a press release by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) had this to say:
“This CR is a good-faith effort to provide limited but fair funding for government programs. It fulfills the responsibility of Congress to maintain the continuity of our government and its vital programs and services – for our people, nation, and for the stability of our economy,” Rogers said.
“However it is essential that we move away from relying on these short term funding Band-Aids. We must return to passing critical funding legislation in the way the Constitution intended – as individual, regular Appropriations bills that provide oversight of government programs and respond to our national needs and financial realities.”
I spoke with E.R. Anderson, press secretary for Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), one of the Senators who opposed the bill. She provided me with the following statement made by the Senator as to why she voted against the resolution:
I am disappointed that House and Senate leaders have announced that rather than consider the appropriations bills, they would instead kick the can down the road by passing a six-month stop-gap funding bill. And the House has done just that and will leave town.
. . . Long-term continuing resolutions represent an abdication of our responsibility and often end up with government agencies, particularly the Department of Defense, incurring additional costs due to delays and uncertainty. As our nation’s economy struggles to recover, we must provide certainty by completing appropriations bills on time. I am extremely disappointed that this did not happen for fiscal year 2013, and therefore I will oppose the continuing resolution to protest what I believe has been a failure of leadership.
The Senator goes on to make clear that she is not advocating the shutdown of the government, but disapproves of the fact that “not a single regular appropriations bill has been brought to the Senate floor for consideration.”
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