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Search Tags: House Appropriations Committee
Congress has made quick work, so far, of the 12 annual bills setting agency spending for fiscal 2013. Over the past few months, the House Appropriations Committee has approved 10 of the bills, and the full House has OK'd five of them. The full Senate has approved no appropriations bill so far this year, however the committee has reported out eight bills.
President Barack Obama signed a continuing resolution Friday to fund government operations through March 27, 2013. The legislation represents a 0.6 percent across-the-board increase above fiscal 2012 levels. It also extends the federal pay freeze.
The White House has threatened to veto two key House spending bills because of severe spending cuts at some agencies as well as federal pay and workforce provisions. In statements of administration policy, the Office of Management and Budget said appropriations bills for both Financial Services and General Government and the Defense Department stray from previously agreed to budgetary caps
The Financial Services and General Government spending bill seeks to cut $2 billion from the president's request. The bill says nothing about granting feds a pay raise in 2013. The House committee follows the lead of Senate appropriators, which also remained silent on the issue.
The White House has threatened to veto a House bill providing funding for the Homeland Security Department, taking issue with many of the bill's provisions, including a denial of a civilian pay raise. The committee bill also doesn't include any new funding for the agency's data-center consolidation efforts or construction for its new headquarters.
The House approved the first spending bill for 2013, setting operating budgets for the Commerce and Justice Departments and for science-related agencies, such as NASA.
The Department of Homeland Security would receive 63 percent more money in fiscal 2013 under the bill. That would add roughly $300 million more dollars to the cyber budget, which is just $20 million shy of the agency's request.
The agency's headquarters and new bio and agro defense facility are limping along as funding dwindles. DHS' Rafael Borras said new headquarter's projects will be done in segments. Tara O'Toole, who leads the Science and Technology Directorate, said severe budget cuts are one the reasons a new biosafety facility is far from finished.
The latest version of the minibus spending bill for fiscal 2012 includes a $4.4 million increase for the E-Government Fund.