Tuesday, March 5, 2013



Yesterday, the House publicly released a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will finalize FY13 appropriations for the remainder of this fiscal year (through Sep. 30th, 2013). 

Some tentative good news: The FY13 GWI CDMRP would, under this House CR, be funded at $20 million! (p.264 of the H.Rpt.) This specific dollar amount, at twice the current, highest level previously funded, is of course drawn from our earlier successes on the House floor with the original House FY13 Defense Appropriations bill. 

As expected, it appears likely there will be an entirely separate Senate version.

So, irrespective of this early good news, the final outcome could very likely still be some other amount in conference. And, the fact that the Senate never had a floor-approved Defense Approp's bill, and thus no GWI CDMRP funding in any FY13 bill version, is not good for us Gulf War veterans.

In a nutshell, it appears very likely the GWI CDMRP program, which is funded from year to year, is likely to be continued by our friends in Congress again this year. At what level remains to be seen, but we're in a strong position coming from the House; the Senate and the Conference Committee are wild cards that are anyone's guess -- and that assumes they'll actually reach an agreement.

The current CR expires March 27th, so they must come to a final agreement by then. If the recent, crisis-prone past is any predictor of how this bill will go, expect it to be finalized at the very last minute -- and hope and pray that Congress doesn't have another meltdown and go into yet another partisan gridlock and not get a CR completed at all.

Of course, FY14 funding must then also be worked out. Time will tell whether Congress comes even close to having the FY14 approps done before the Oct. 1 beginning of FY14. That will be a whole new battle requiring all of our collective efforts through calls, emails, letters, and personal visits.

For those interested, here's more about the FY13 CR in the broader context:  http://www.rollcall.com/news/house_releases_continuing_resolution_with_sequester_reductions_in_place-222817-1.html?pos=oplyh

-Anthony Hardie