Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Budget Debate & Defense Appropriations Update

The country is still operating under a continuing resolution (CR) which will expire April 8.  The CR cuts an additional $6 billion in overall discretionary spending. This three-week spending extension permits further negotiation on a spending bill for the balance of Fiscal Year 2011.

The House passed the extension on Tuesday by a vote of 271-158, with a total of 54 Republicans voting against the CR. The Senate passed the measure Thursday by a vote of 87-13 with nine Republicans and four Democrats opposing the measure.  This was an increase of "no" votes, as certain elected officials voted in protest over the short duration of the three-week extension.

As noted last week, these short extensions are having a negative impact on availability of funding for the Department of Defense.

Both the House and the Senate are in recess, returning to their states and districts for a contingency week.  Next week, Congress will return for three more weeks  to resolve budget differences before taking a two week recess on either side of Easter.  It is hoped that the FY-2011 budget will be resolved then because in May, Congress needs to begin work on the FY-2012 budget.

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