Tuesday, October 8, 2013

House Rules Committee Hearing on Latest Shutdown Solution

As I write this the House Rules Committee is meeting to discuss the latest proposal to end the current fiscal fiasco. They are formulating a rule for the consideration of:

HR 3273, the Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth Working Group Act of 2013; 
HJ Res 89, the Excepted Employees’ Pay Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014; and
HJ Res 90, the Federal Aviation Administration Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

I expect that the rule will call for limited debate with no amendments (a closed rule). There is a good possibility that HR 3273 will make it to the floor today, though it is not currently listed on the Majority Leader’s web site.

HR 3273

This bill calls for the formation of a ‘bicameral committee’ of ten members of each house of congress. It would be known as the Bicameral Working Group on Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth. This Working Group would recommend {§2(b)}:

• Overall levels of discretionary spending, including for the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2014;
• Changes in the statutory limit on the public debt; and
• Reforms in direct spending programs.

The Working Group would meet daily until it made its recommendations by a majority vote of the membership representing each house. The legislative language included in that recommendation would be referred to the appropriate Committees in the House for immediate consideration.

This looks like it might be an acceptable face saving way for both sides to the current standoff to proceed to a more reasonable conclusion. We’ll have to see how it pans out.

HJ Res 89

HJ Res 89 would provide funding for Federal employees currently working during the funding fiasco. They are currently working without provisions for getting paid.

HJ Res 90

HJ Res 90 would provide funding for the Federal Aviation Administration at FY 2013 (with sequestration) funding rates through December 15, 2013.

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