The U.S. House of Representatives voted 319 to 108 to pass legislation (H.J. Res. 124) that would continue funding for the U.S. government at current spending levels through Dec. 11. Funding for the federal government is set to expire at the end of fiscal 2014 on Sept. 30. By then, the Senate is expected to pass the legislation.
H.J. Res. 124 is what is known as a continuing resolution, and it contains virtually no changes in existing law. Assuming the legislation is enacted by Congress and signed into law, Congress will negotiate a longer-term “omnibus” – meaning for the whole government – funding bill after the Nov. 4 elections in a “lame duck” session.
The long-term appropriations bill will resolve substantive issues, and it could include the provision adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee to suspend the July 1, 2013, changes to the hours-of-service restart provision pending completion of a study on the safety, health and operational impacts of the changes. That measure was initially set for a show-down in early June, but the so-called “minibus” appropriations bill stalled over a partisan procedural fight.