Congress has approved a measure to keep the federal government funded through March 2013. The Continuing Resolution provides $1.047 trillion in total funding, a 0.6 percent boost over fiscal year (FY) 2012 spending levels. This slight increase will be spread evenly across discretionary spending accounts, including federal science agencies.
Approval of the Continuing Resolution means that the battle over FY 2013 appropriations will be deferred for six months. The new federal fiscal year begins on 1 October 2012. Despite the rapidly approaching end of the current fiscal year, lawmakers continue to disagree about how much to spend on discretionary programs. Thus, none of the twelve appropriations bills that collectively fund the federal government have been enacted.
Passage of the Continuing Resolution does not forestall the $1.2 trillion budget sequestration that is scheduled to begin on 2 January 2013. Thus, if Congress and the President fail to reach an agreement prior to 2 January, sequestration will begin and funds will be cut from the amounts appropriated under the Continuing Resolution.
H.J.Res. 117 was enacted on 28 September 2012.