Six-month stopgap measure clouds defense appropriations

U.S. lawmakers are planning to forego appropriations bills for fiscal 2013 in favor of passing a six-month-long stopgap spending measure that would seek to maintain 2012 funding levels though March, Defense News reports.

The upshot is that defense contractors and Pentagon officials who track the defense appropriations bills will find it difficult to calculate what they can expect in funding for the next fiscal year, the story said.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a $604.5 billion defense bill Aug. 2; however, the spending bill offers little insight into next year’s budget landscape, the story said.

The larger implication of the potential six-month stopgap measure, and the looming automatic spending cuts embodied in sequestration, is that  House and Senate appropriators are losing much of their influence over the Defense Department budget, the story said.

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