Se­nate gets new stop­gap mea­sure

Dayton Daily News - - NATION+WORLD - By Stephen Ohlemacher As­so­ci­ated Press

WASHINGTON — Congress is rush­ing to pass a bill known as a “con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion” that au­tho­rizes spend­ing to pre­vent the govern­ment from run­ning out of money for daily op­er­a­tions. “We need to act as quickly as pos­si­ble,” Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Mon­day.

The bud­get year be­gan Oct. 1 but Congress hasn’t passed any of its an­nual spend­ing bills.

Last Thurs­day, Democrats pulled back a $1.3 tril­lion spend­ing bill for the en­tire bud­get year af­ter Repub­li­cans de­cided not to sup­port it. Repub­li­cans com­plained about spe­cial projects in the bill, its over­all cost and the lack of time for de­bate.

The new stop­gap mea­sure up to­day in the Se­nate would in­crease fed­eral spend­ing at an an­nual rate of just $1.16 bil­lion over the pre­vi­ous bud­get year, an in­crease of less than 1 per­cent.

It would also al­low the in­com­ing Congress, with a new Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity in the House, to put its stamp on fed­eral spend­ing shortly af­ter the new ses­sion be­gins in Jan­uary.

Three weeks ago, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama pro­posed a two-year salary freeze for some 2 mil­lion fed­eral work­ers, seiz­ing on an ini­tia­tive pop­u­lar among Repub­li­cans. Pub­lic em­ployee unions are lob­by­ing law­mak­ers to re­ject the pay freeze.

“Freez­ing wages over the next two years will not serve the in­ter­ests of the tax­payer and will cost us more in re­duced ser­vices and lost tal­ent from those who choose to re­tire, just when the govern­ment needs them more than ever,” Colleen M. Kel­ley, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Trea­sury Em­ploy­ees Union, wrote in a let­ter to law­mak­ers.

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