Congress Clears Continuing Funding Resolution
On September 29, the House of Representatives approved a short-term funding bill (H.R. 2017) that will allow government programs to continue operating through October 4. The Senate approved the measure three days earlier on September 26.
The stopgap measure, which the President is expected to sign, will allow Congress additional time to complete work on a longer term funding measure. During the week of October 3, the House is expected consider a Senate-passed bill (H.R. 2608) that will continue to allow the government to operate through mid-November.
Passage of a continuing funding resolution (CR) has been delayed over disagreements over funding for disaster relief needs. Some Republicans have objected to the inclusion of flood relief funding without offsets in spending from other areas.
To date, Congress has not completed work on any of the FY2012 appropriations bills. While overall discretionary spending levels were fixed in the debt limit bill enacted in August, there has been considerable partisan disagreement over the allocation of funds.
In addition, work on the appropriations bills has taken a backseat to the activities of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which has been tasked with reducing federal spending by at least $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. The Committee is required to deliver its recommendations by November 23 and Congress must vote on the recommendations by December 23.