To: Emergency Managers
From: Martha Braddock
International Association of Emergency Managers-U.S. Council
Subject: Update on FY 2013 Stop Gap Funding (Continuing Resolution)
Date: September 11, 2012
Due to major differences in funding levels and some controversial policy items, the House and Senate leaders agreed before the August Congressional recess to do a 6-month stop gap measure to keep the government running after September 31. One key difference was that the House of Representatives was using $1.028 Trillion as the cap for all the bills and the Senate was using $1.047 Trillion which was the number agreed to in last year's Budget Control Act after much negotiation. That is a $19 billion difference. Some of the policy items were considered very controversial right before the election.
The provisions of this Continuing Resolution were to be worked out at high level before the return of Congress. Although many had ideas for exceptions, the effort was to keep it as "clean" as possible and not include controversial issues.
Current Status and Some Provisions:
H J Res. 117 was introduced on September 10.
? Term--If passed it will continue the government until March 27, 2013.
? Timing-- It will be considered at the House Rules Committee on September 12 and go to the House Floor this week. It is expected to pass the House. If Senate alters the bill, it will require additional action from the House.
? Disaster Relief Fund (DRF)—Includes the FY 2012 amount which is $1 billion more than the President requested for FY 2013. Based on estimates it is thought that this is adequate and "immediate needs funding" restrictions will not be needed. The FEMA estimate of the amount in the DRF on Sept. 11 is $1.240 billion.
? Rate-- Continues most programs at last year's level.
? Emergency Management Performance Grants — Although the funding amount in the House and Senate bills was the same $350 million (with an administrative overhead difference), at this time no partial distribution is expected. FEMA has the authority, but in the past the decision of the Office of Management and Budget has been to not distribute grant funds even partially during the period of the Continuing Resolution.
? Homeland Security Grants—My understanding is that these will not be distributed while under the Continuing Resolution.
? Grant language in Continuing Resolution-
o Sec. 109. Notwithstanding any other provision of this joint resolution, except section 106, for those programs that would otherwise have high initial rates of operation or complete distribution of appropriations at the beginning of fiscal year 2013 because of distributions of funding to States, foreign countries, grantees, or others, such high initial
rates of operation or complete distribution shall not be made, and no grants shall be awarded for such programs funded by this joint resolution that would impinge on final funding prerogatives.
? Cyber Security--Contains a provision allowing additional funding and flexibility to sustain Homeland Security cyber security efforts.
? Wildfire suppression efforts—Contains a provision allowing additional funding for the Interior Department and the Forest Service for wildfire suppression efforts
The House Appropriations Committee Summary of the Continuing Resolution follows:
Rate of Operations – The CR continues funding at the current rate of operations for federal agencies, programs and services. To meet the bipartisan agreement between the House, Senate and White House that ensured a total rate of operations at $1.047 trillion, a government-wide, across-the-board increase of 0.6 percent over the base rate is also included. In total, including all discretionary spending, the annual rate of the CR is $26.6 billion below last year's level.
Disaster and War Spending – The bill continues funding for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) at last year's level, including $6.4 billion in BCA disaster designated funding. This funding is used to provide relief and recovery efforts following disasters, such as the recent Hurricane Isaac. The bill also provides $88.5 billion in war-related funding for Department of Defense (DOD) Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), the amount requested by the Administration.
General Items – Virtually all policy and funding provisions included in currently enacted Appropriations legislation will carry forward in the CR. However, some changes to current law are needed to prevent catastrophic, irreversible, or detrimental changes to government programs, or to ensure good government and program oversight. Some of these provisions include:
A provision allowing DOD to acquire supplies in other countries for use in Afghanistan.
A provision allowing additional funding for nuclear weapons modernization efforts, to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear stockpile.
A provision allowing flexibility for the Customs and Border Protection to maintain current staffing levels.
A provision allowing additional funding and flexibility to sustain Homeland Security cyber security efforts.
A provision allowing additional funding for the Interior Department and the Forest Service for wildfire suppression efforts.
A provision allowing additional funding for the Veterans Administration to meet an increase in the disability claims workload.
A provision extending the current pay freeze for federal employees, which includes Members of Congress and Senators.
A provision allowing the launch schedule of new weather satellites to move forward, ensuring the continuation of critical weather information, especially in the event of weather-related natural disasters.
A provision requiring every federal agency to provide spending plans to Congress to ensure transparency and the proper use of taxpayer dollars.
Language of the Continuing Resolution as Introduced is available at--