Republicans controlling the House moved Monday to ease a crunch in Pentagon readiness while limiting the pain felt by such agencies as the FBI and the Border Patrol from the across-the-board spending cuts that are just starting to take effect.
The effort is part of a huge spending measure that would fund day-to-day federal operations through September — and head off a potential government shutdown later this month.
The measure would leave in place automatic cuts of 5 percent to domestic agencies and 7.8 percent to the Pentagon ordered by President Barack Obama on Friday night after months of battling with Republicans over the budget. But the House Republicans’ legislation would award the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments their detailed 2013 budgets, giving those agencies more flexibility on where money is spent, while other agencies would be frozen at 2012 levels — and then bear the across-the-board cuts.
The Pentagon said it would furlough thousands of military-school teachers around the world and close commissaries an extra day each week. And Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the spending cuts were causing delays in customs lines at airports.