FY2013 CR & 02/21/2013 Open Thread

New NYT piece with some good info on the next stage of the budget fight, the continuing resolution to fund the government through the rest of FY2013 (i.e. through September 30, 2013).

“Taking steps to avoid a full government shutdown at the end of March, the House Appropriations Committee as soon as next week will introduce legislation to keep the government financed through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, but do nothing to stop the pending cuts.”

“The Senate next week will consider competing Democratic and Republican proposals to stop the automatic cuts. The Democratic plan would institute a 30 percent minimum tax rate on incomes over $1 million, cut farm subsidies, and institute military cuts delayed until most United States troops have returned from Afghanistan. Neither plan is expected to win the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster

Instead, attention will shift to the next deadline, March 27, when financing for the government runs out.

The House bill would maintain financing at presequester levels, $1.043 trillion, with detailed spending instructions for defense programs devised to give the Pentagon more flexibility. But a provision in the spending bill will say that all levels are subject to automatic cuts to be meted out by the White House Budget Office.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/us/politics/gop-resisting-obama-on-tax-increase.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&gwh=E1189D5B5E182F1909E62B46AA43A452&ref=politics

If the House is really going to let the baseline be set at pre-sequester levels for the CR, this could constitute a cave for the Republicans. I.e. the sequester was actually in effect for about 1 month tops and now spending is going to be held flat at the old levels.

Update: Good piece by Karl Rove on the various options. I agree with his proposal:

“My own recommendation is that House Republicans should pass a continuing resolution next week to fund the government for the balance of the fiscal year at the lower level dictated by the sequester—with language granting the executive branch the flexibility to move funds from less vital activities to more important ones.”

http://www.rove.com/articles/450

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