On March 6, the House approved H.R. 933, a bill to continue government spending after the current continuing resolution expires on March 27. The House-passed measure provides funding through September 30, the end of fiscal year 2013. The new continuing resolution now moves to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said the full Senate may take up the bill as soon as March 11. Congressional leaders are working together—including “pre-conferencing” a final bill—in an effort to send the president a bill before the start of a two-week congressional recess on March 25. The bill is expected to reaffirm cuts made by sequestration but also give the administration more flexibility in the how those cuts are made.
On March 8, former Republican Secretary of State George Shultz appeared at an event sponsored by the Partnership for a Secure America. Shultz used the occasion to push for Congress to support the development of hydraulic fracturing and alternative energy. Shultz has been a voice for clean energy and an advocate for a fee-dividend carbon tax.