How so? The House must vote affirmatively for any appropriation, either a specific bill or a continuing resolution. If they don't vote for an appropriations vehicle, then there is no money to spend. The spending isn't on autopilot. There must be a House vote.
It is and it isn’t on autopilot. I work for a small division of CBP. A couple years ago the journeyman pay grade for Border Patrol Agents and CBP Officers were raised to GS-12. Unfortunately without a change in those line items in the budget, money for those increases have had to come out of operating budgets. What that means is that all these agents and officers are getting paid $90-100k, but there isn’t any money to do anything. Our operations have been cut in half, despite the Mexican Cartels taking over most of the transshipment and smuggling in our area.
As things now are, the House has no affirmative control over spending except for the continuing budget resolutions -- which control what the total spending is, but not necessarily what it is spent on.
When Dingy Harry refused to pass a budget through the Senate for FY 2010, he intentionally created this situation where spending continued at the previous year's rate plus an automatic escalator -- the Baseline Budgeting System. That is also how Porkulus -- a supposed one-time-only trillion dollar expenditure -- ended up in the Baseline Budget, yielding annual trillion dollar-plus deficits.
The constitutional requirement that the House initiate all spending and revenue bills has been neutralized for the past three years. The House may authorize "new" spending, if it passes the Senate, but the old spending continues unabated.
The budget "process" has been made into a travesty.