Maybe they decided this sequester thing has gone on far enough.
The House voted to extend spending cuts that went into effect March 1st and keep the government operating for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends on September 30th.
The so-called CR (continuing resolution) is to keep the federal government open after current funding runs out on March 27th.
But, it keeps the spending cuts known as the sequester for all federal agencies, while giving the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments more flexibility in setting spending priorities.
The House’s bill caps fiscal 2013 spending at about $984 billion.
That’s roughly $59 billion cut from the previous budget year’s budget, effectively entrenching the sequester for the current fiscal year, and making things tougher for agencies trying to live on the 2012 budget.
So what happens next?
The Senate has its own continuing resolution that will certainly be larger and more complicated.
How far Democrats in the Senate hope to take the bill remains a question with everyone trying to balance concerns over the effects of the sequester on federal agencies with the need to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year.
There’s talk of including more appropriations bills in the Senate version – as long as the $85 billion slice to the federal budget under the sequester is not messed with.
The Senate is going to have to come up with a bill that wins support for passage.
You don’t have to read tea leaves to know that chances of that.
To sum it up – the federal government is still going to run out of money March 27th unless both sides get together and come up with something.
Meanwhile, furlough letters to federal workers will be going out in about two weeks.
Giggle all you want, but if you’re a worker making $35,000, how you’d like your income suddenly drop about $7,000.
Good luck making the rent.
Changes things a bit, doesn’t it.