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House Passes Short-Term Spending Bill; Senate Passage Unlikely Due to Language that Defunds the Affordable Care Act

Legislative Update
September 20, 2013

Today, the House of Representatives, in an effort to prevent a shutdown of the federal government, passed a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) by a nearly party-line vote of 230-189. The bill, which would fund the government through December 15, now heads to the Senate. Its passage is necessary to keep the government operating once Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 begins on October 1 since Congress has not passed any of the 12 “regular order” appropriations bills.

The bill, H.J. Res 59, is unlikely to gain Senate approval in its current form since it contains language which defunds the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Democrat-controlled Senate is likely to pass a CR without any ACA provisions, setting up a showdown with the Republican-controlled House. A final CR, approved by both chambers, must then be sent to the President for his signature to avoid the shutdown.

President Obama has already stated that he would veto any CR with language that defunds the ACA, which is considered his signature legislative achievement.

Further updates to this story will be posted as Congress continues its work to finalize FY2014 spending.