Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Senate Approves First Cloture Motion on HR 993

Yesterday the Senate voted to close debate on the amendment in the form of a substitute from the Senate Appropriations Committee for HR 993. The 63-35 vote sets up votes on Amendment #26 to HR 933 this morning, including another cloture vote. A parliamentary move by Sen. Reid (D,NV) would allow a final vote on HR 933, Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013, early Thursday.

If the Senate, as expected, passes HR 933 on Thursday morning, a vote under suspension of the rules could occur as early as Thursday afternoon in the House, though a Friday vote is probably more likely. Acceptance of the Senate language by the House would allow the two chambers to start their scheduled Easter Recess this weekend. Otherwise, Congress will have to stay in session to work out their differences to avoid a dreaded ‘government shutdown’ at midnight next Wednesday when the current continuing resolution expires.

To recap, the current Senate language for HR 933 that is expected to pass will include a reauthorization of the CFATS program through October 4th, 2013, but would significantly reduce funding for that program, even before the Sequestration further reduces spending across the board.

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