FY 2011 LONG TERM CONTINUING RESOLUTION PASSES
With the expiration date (December 18) of the current short-term continuing resolution (CR: PL 111-290) quickly approaching, the House passed by a vote of 212-206 a long-term CR (HR 3082) with the inclusion of the food safety bill (S 510) late Wednesday night. The year long CR with a price tag of $1.09 trillion, does not contain ear marks and comes in at $45.9 billion less than the President’s initial request.
Although the bill keeps the government operating at FY 2010 levels, the disbursement of funding was adjusted. Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development accounts saw across the board funding cuts. Legislative Branch and Homeland Security accounts stayed at FY 2010 levels. Defense, Energy and Water, Labor-Health and Human Services–Education, Interior-Environment, and State-Foreign Operations accounts received increases. A few of which included:
- $5.7 billion for the Pell grant program
- $723 million for Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment compensation programs
- $513 billion for the Department of Defense
- $159 billion more for the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Military Construction–Veterans Affairs received funding below FY 2010 levels, but overall received an increase for veteran program funding. A two year pay freeze of all federal employees except for the military was also included in the year long CR.
SENATE CONTINUES DRAFTING OMNIBUS
The Senate continues to work behind closed doors on an omnibus package that will likely be released by the end of this week. Although exact details are unknown, the Senate omnibus package will contain earmarks and will cost $1.108 trillion, thus raising spending levels. The omnibus measure would be used as a substitute amendment to the long-term funding resolution passed by the House, but with the national deficit looming and the inclusion of earmarks, whether or not the omnibus will get the necessary 60 votes for passage is unclear.
If the omnibus package does not pass, Senate leadership will likely hold a vote on the House year long spending resolution as is, but it is uncertain if even it will pass because of opposition in the Senate to the year long time frame. If Members are unable to garner enough support to pass either the omnibus or the year long continuing resolution, another short-term continuing resolution lasting through the beginning of the year will result and the task of producing a solution for FY 2011 spending will be passed on to the 112th Congress.
As always we will continue to monitor and update you on the status of FY 2011 appropriations, but please do not hesitate to call our office if you need further information.