The Senate and House have approved and sent to the White House for signature legislation (HR 2017) that will provide FY 2012 funding for federal agencies through October 4, 2011 (the first four days of fiscal year 2012). The Senate approved the bill on September 26 and the House on September 29.
On September 26 the Senate actually approved two Continuing Resolutions (CRs) – one running through October 4 and the other through November 18 (HR 2608). Because the House is out of session this week, it considered the shorter term CR under unanimous consent which did not require them to bring members back to Washington for a vote. Had any member of the House objected, they would not have been able to vote on the shorter term CR.
As previously reported, the CR will fund agencies at their FY 2011 levels minus a 1.5 percent reduction (see our General Memorandum 11-110 of September 16, 2011).
The reason for the four-day CR was that action on the seven-week CR was delayed over the issue of whether FY 2011 disaster assistance should be offset by cuts to other programs. Republicans generally supported offsetting the costs and Democrats strongly opposed it. (An earlier House-passed CR would have offset the $1 billion in
FY 2011 disaster assistance through a reduction in the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.) The issue was resolved when the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicated that it can get through the rest of
FY 2011 on the money at hand, thus eliminating the need for the FY 2011 disaster aid in the pending CR.
What’s Next. On October 4, the House will vote on the Senate-passed CR which extends funding for federal agencies through November 18. Passage is expected, but not guaranteed. In the meantime, Congress will try to assemble a FY 2012 omnibus spending bill (or groups of bills) to fund federal agencies through the end of the fiscal year.
Please let us know if we may provide additional information on FY 2012 appropriations matters.