Senate Introduces Six-Month Spending Bill, Work To Begin Immediately

Last night, the Senate introduced a six-month spending bill to fund the government for the rest of FY2013. Currently, the government is operating on a six-month bill that will expire on March 27. The bill reflects the 5% cuts to FY2012 levels required by sequestration.

There are two notable changes that affect AEO members included in the Senate bill:

  • Sec. 1306 increases the amount available to the SBA for 7(a) and other guaranteed loans (including Community Advantage loans) by 61% over FY2012 levels. This is an increase of $126.5 million for FY2013 to a total of $333.6 million.
  • Sec. 1308 would provide appropriations for the CDFI Fund’s Bond Guarantee program at a level of $500 million, or half of the program’s originally intended $1 billion (as contained in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010).

The House version (also six months) that was passed last week, H.R. 933, included FY2013 appropriations bills for the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs that were negotiated last year. The Senate version includes FY2013 spending bills for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Agriculture, and the National Institutes of Health. All other agencies will be required to continue implementing sequestration cuts in an indiscriminate, across-the-board manner.  

Neither of the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bills were included in the House or Senate versions, effectively funding programs operated by the Small Business Administration and the Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at current funding levels through the end of the year minus the 5% spending cuts required by sequestration. It is important to note that the effective spending cut is approximately 9%, due to the fact that the cuts are being applied over seven months, instead of the originally planned nine months.

The Senate will work on its bill this week, hoping to pass it before week’s end. House and Senate negotiators will then have one week to work on a compromise bill before the current funding bill expires on March 27.

To read the House bill, H.R. 933, and view a summery, click here.

To read the Senate bill and view a summary, click here.