House Rules panel to consider continuing resolution Tuesday

The resolution would allow government operations to continue through the end of October while Congress continues work on the 12 annual appropriations bills, a Democratic aide said.


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Hoyer and top appropriators have acknowledged the need for a short-term resolution since the 2010 spending bills won’t be completed before the fiscal year starts.

The House Rules Committee will consider the resolution Tuesday evening.

None of the dozen bills for the 2010 fiscal year has been signed by the president. While the House has passed all of its bills, the Senate has passed just five. None has emerged from House-Senate conferences, which are scheduled to begin this week.

The chairmen of the two Appropriations committees, Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), along with the top Senate Republican appropriator, Thad Cochran (Miss.), had set a goal of passing the bills before the start of the fiscal year, which hasn’t happened since 1994. But the bills’ progress will fall short of the deadline. Lawmakers have noted that the appropriations process started later this year because of the late release of the Obama administration’s first budget proposal.

The Senate plans to plod along with its outstanding spending bills this week. It will begin voting on floor amendments to the Interior and environment spending bill Tuesday and is likely to vote on the bill later this week. The next spending measure to come up is likely to be the $636 billion Pentagon spending bill, Inouye told reporters.

Last year, the Defense bill, always the largest of the 12 appropriations measures, was packaged with the spending bills for Homeland Security and for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and passed just before October 2008. The remaining eight bills for 2009 were packaged together in an omnibus and passed in March.