The House on March 6 approved (267-151) a six-month continuing resolution which, if enacted, would fund the government for the remainder of FY13.
The bill includes provisions that will help the military deal with sequestration. When the Senate takes up the bill the week of March 11, they are expected to try to add provisions to give other agencies similar relief. House Leaders have indicated they welcome what the Senate is considering and acted quickly so there would be sufficient time to reconcile any differences and avoid a March 27 shut down.
As approved, the House measure leaves in place the sequestration mechanism that forced across-the-board spending cuts last Friday.
In the Senate, Sen. Mikulski (D-MD), the new Chair of the Appropriations Committee, hopes to work with new Ranking Member Shelby (R-AL) to provide relief to several other agencies the way the House assisted Defense and Veterans Affairs by including FY13 appropriations bills that were negotiated last December instead of simply extending funding at FY12 levels adjusted for sequestration.
Reportedly, the approach is gaining support among Senate Republicans.
"We don't want to add anything the House won't accept," Sen. Blunt (R-MO) said. "But if there are two or three other appropriations bills that you can add to the two that they (the House) added, that's a good thing."