Rich Galen

That resolution funds the government until March 27 of this year - remember the federal fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. The House has already adopted a new continuing resolution to fund the government through September 30 of 2013 and are, again, waiting for the U.S. Senate to move.

The House resolution left intact the sequester cuts but included language allowing the Pentagon more flexibility to move money around as circumstances dictate to protect the nation.

It is likely that the Senate version - at least the version put forward by Senate Democrats - will first attempt to restore the sequester cuts (that will be denied by Senate Republicans) and will settle for leaving the cuts intact by expanding flexibility to non-Defense Departments and Agencies.

Senate Republicans will probably go along with that and send it back to the House just seconds before both chambers want to scurry out for the Easter Recess - remember they will have worked for nearly two straight weeks - so the House will be faced with the choice of accepting the Senate changes or having the entire Federal government shut down on March 28.

Again, having an actual budget request for the fiscal year that doesn't even begin for another six months would only, in the mind of Barack Obama, confuse and confound the members of the House and Senate so he is just holding onto it until the CR is adopted.

Put another way, the Congress can't spend - or refuse to spend - what it can't see.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at