With time running out before the fiscal year ends, the House Wednesday night overwhelmingly approved a stop-gap measure to fund the government through Dec. 11 once the new fiscal years starts Oct. 1. Under the bill (H.J.Res.124), which passed by a vote of 319-108, the government would be funding at fiscal 2014 levels and doesn't address federal employee pay raises. That paves the way for President Obama's authorization of a 1 percent pay raise for feds.
The House won't vote Thursday on a stopgap spending measure to fund the government for fiscal 2015 through Dec. 11. The Associated Press reported Sept. 10 that House Republican leaders are postponing the vote so they can weigh President Barack Obama's request for the authority to train and equip Syrian rebels battling Islamic State militants.
The House Appropriations Committee proposed a stopgap spending measure Tuesday that would fund the government until Dec. 11. The continuing resolution would fund the government in the first few months of fiscal 2015 at an annual rate of $1.012 trillion. Most programs wouldn't see any change under the CR, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) says in a Sept. 9 statement, which would kick in if Congress doesn't pass its appropriations bills by Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year.
A recent survey found that 62 percent of government chief information officers said they don't have sufficient resources to do their jobs effectively.
Despite a decrease in federal funding for basic research at universities and colleges in fiscal 2011 and 2012, higher education institutions received more than half of the $31 billion in total federal obligations for basic research. However, a new National Sciences Foundation report also found that funding is expected to improve.
Interest payments on the federal debt are expected to triple over the next ten years, making them the highest percent of the gross domestic product since 1996, a Sept. 3 Congressional Budget Office report says. "Interest payments on that debt represent a large and rapidly growing expense of the federal government," the report says.
The Agriculture Department's inspector general's audit is a look back and lessons learned from the 80 reports and 401 recommendations it has made, as of Aug. 15, regarding such programs funded to stimulate the economy. It's a "compilation report identifying the crosscutting themes, lessons learned, and conclusions" from the previous reports it's issued.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) blasted the Labor Department over what he calls wasteful spending on promoting the agency. Issa wants the DOL to hand over documents and information related to agency spending and claims he has information that the DOL spent $600,000 on informational elevator posters, $25,000 in entry fees for public relations contests and $100,000 to promote a book club.
The Congressional Budget Office raised its projection for this fiscal year's federal deficit to $506 billion--up about $14 billion from its last project in April. The deficit projection panned out much better than previous years for President Obama. Last year's deficit came in at $680 billion, while in 2009 it ended up being about $1.1 trillion.
Talks of another possible government shutdown in October are starting as Congress has stalled on passing appropriations bills and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has fired the first shot. But this time, defunding the Affordable Care Act isn't the impediment like it was last year. It's President Obama's use of executive power.