House may include continuing resolutions in ‘Megabus’ appropriations bill

As House appropriators finalize a spending bill before the government runs out of funding later this week, reports indicate that the deal implements a spending pact negotiated this summer and could sidestep one or more of the nine remaining overdue Fiscal Year 2012 spending bills. This could avoid resolving difficult disagreements by including continuing resolutions (CRs) to cover certain agencies and programs. House Republicans have been seeking to bar the use of appropriated money to implement health care reform and environmental protections. Democratic appropriators have considered using CRs for some of the most contentious bills, because that approach would block Republican efforts to use them to change existing federal policy. The most likely candidate for a continuing resolution in the overall appropriations package is the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education bill (HR 3070) which funds the vast majority of disability-related discretionary programs. Even with time running out, intense work continues to wrap up the remaining FY 2012 bills in a single package. The text of a final appropriations package is expected to be released late tonight, allowing a mandatory two-day advance publication before the House votes on it the middle of the week. Both chambers would be under pressure to act on it before stopgap appropriations expire on Dec. 16.