The Senate has passed a continuing resolution which would keep the federal government operating through the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. The measure maintains $85 million in automatic spending cuts enacted by the sequester on March 1st but does allow the military and some agencies to move money around.
Under the bill, U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack will be allowed to move funds and avoid furloughing federal meat inspectors to meet sequestration requirements. As the situation stands right now, Vilsack says they would need to furlough inspectors for up to 11 days from July through September. The Blunt-Pryor Amendment transfers $55 million from USDA’s buildings maintenance and school equipment grants to the Food Safety and Inspection Service to pay for the inspectors.
The Senate passed the bill 73 to 26; it now goes to the House. House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan told Bloomberg he expects his colleagues to accept the proposal “as long as they hit the numbers.”