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FACTBOX-US House's six-month stop-gap government funding bill

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 13 Sep 2012 23:27 GMT
Author: Reuters
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WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - The stop-gap government funding measure approved on Thursday staves off the threat of a government shutdown for six months, leaving some important spending decisions to a newly elected Congress.

While the so-called continuing resolution is largely considered a "clean," or non-controversial, extension of spending, it does contain funding increases for some specific programs and activities.

Here are key details of the measure, which heads to the Senate with a Sept. 30 deadline for enactment:

FUNDING LEVEL

The resolution funds the government's discretionary expenditures - which range from agency budgets to war spending - at ${esc.dollar}1.047 trillion, a cap set last year by Democrats and Republicans as part of a deal to end a debt limit standoff that brought the United States to the brink of default.

The measure allows for an across-the-board increase of 0.6 percent for most programs over the previous year's base spending rate as determined by the Congressional Budget Office.

PAY FREEZE

The measure extends a two-year-old pay freeze for federal employees for another six months. The Obama administration had sought a 0.5 percent raise for federal workers in its fiscal 2013 budget request. The freeze extends to lawmakers and their staffs.

WILDFIRES

The measure provides a substantial increase to federal efforts to fight wildfires, to a total of about ${esc.dollar}2.7 billion. It also provides an extra ${esc.dollar}423 million to cover costs incurred in fighting this summer's wildfires, which exceeded the fiscal 2012 budget.

DEFENSE, WAR SPENDING

The measure provides ${esc.dollar}88.5 billion for war-related funding, the same amount requested by the Obama administration, down from an estimated ${esc.dollar}115.3 billion for fiscal 2012.

It provides a ${esc.dollar}363 million funding increase for nuclear weapons modernization efforts, along with an extra ${esc.dollar}100 million for domestic uranium enrichment research and development.

The measure prohibits use of any funds by the Pentagon for retiring or transferring any aircraft from their bases by the Air Force or shutting down Air National Guard units or taking planes away from them.

The Veterans Benefits Administration gets a 7 percent increase, to ${esc.dollar}2.2 billion, to help it handle an increase in disability claims from veterans.

CYBERSECURITY

Provides a ${esc.dollar}282 million increase to the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity budget, a jump of 31 percent. It designates that ${esc.dollar}328 million be spent on network security deployment and up to ${esc.dollar}218 million on software and intrusion detection systems for civilian federal computer networks.

INAUGURATION

Provides a 65 percent increase, or about ${esc.dollar}9.8 million, to the budget for District of Columbia's emergency planning and security operations to be used for costs associated with the presidential inauguration ceremonies in January.

It also specifies that ${esc.dollar}8 million be set aside to support for a transition between presidential administrations.

The measure also specifies that ${esc.dollar}5 million be spent on developing a centralized public database for disclosures required by a new law to combat insider trading by members of Congress and their staffs. (Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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