Cantor eyes vote on government funding bill in mid-September

House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorVA Dems jockey for Kaine's seat High anxiety for GOP Webb: Broken trust, broken party MORE (R-Va.) told reporters Wednesday that he expects to move a temporary spending bill to the House floor in mid-September to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

The 2012 continuing resolution (CR) will fund the government through late fall, but an exact date for when it would expire has not been determined, he said.

"There are discussions ongoing, and the anticipation is we will take up a CR the week of the 19th. There’s been no agreement, but my expectations are that that CR will take us sometime through late fall," Cantor said. The fiscal year ends Sept. 30. 

A CR is necessary because Congress has yet to enact any of the 12 annual appropriations bills funding the government. Cantor is eager to avoid a shutdown fight even though the top-line spending level for 2012 of $1.043 trillion set in the debt ceiling deal is too high for some in his caucus.

Last month, Cantor urged rank-and-file members to support the debt-ceiling level.

The Veterans Affairs bill has passed both chambers but needs to be conferenced between House and Senate. The House has passed six bills, and by the end of this week all 12 annual spending bills will have been cleared through subcommittees. Subcommittees will consider measures for Transportation on Thursday and Labor along with Health and Human Services on Friday. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee will take up the agriculture, homeland security and energy bills on Wednesday and approve top-line spending levels for all 12 bills at that markup. 

House appropriators have not yet decided on their negotiating position for the bills, and it could take months to hash out differences over funding and policy riders, including some that would block environmental regulations.