Stopgap measure to keep government running introduced

The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday introduced a $1.043 trillion stopgap measure to keep the government running through Nov. 18. 

The measure includes $3.65 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agencys disaster relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Irene, recent wildfires, floods and tornados throughout the country and other natural disasters. 

The continuing resolution provides an immediate $1 billion in emergency funding, as well as an additional $2.65 billion to ensure that recovery continues into the next fiscal year. In addition, the committee will continue to address disaster needs as the fiscal year 2012 appropriations process moves forward.

The top-line number was agreed to as part of the deal between Congress and the White House in the recent debt-ceiling legislation and is a 1.4 percent cut from fiscal year 2011.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) urged quick passage by Congress. The House is expected to take up the measure next week before taking a recess that lasts beyond the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30. 

The Rules Committee plans to take up the measure on Thursday.

“It is critical that Congress pass this CR and send it to the president as soon as possible, Rogers said.

“It is also my intention to complete the fiscal year 2012 appropriations work without any further delay at the funding level agreed to.

Disaster funding also includes $226 million for Army Corps of Engineers flood-control efforts, and $774 million for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). This years funding is offset by a $1 billion cut to the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. In addition, $2.65 billion for the FEMA DRF is provided for continued recovery efforts next year.

The measure also includes a delay in a mandatory payment from the U.S. Postal Service to ensure the continuation of mail services, an extension of the availability of defense survival equipment such as body armor and MRAPs for coalition efforts abroad, funding for the continuation of activities at the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an extension of Federal Flood Insurance availability, funding for national security activities for special events such as international governmental meetings and an extension of Secret Service undercover investigations authority.

Attached to the bill is legislation that allows for the renewal of certain import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003.