New Spending Bill Going to House Floor

On March 11, House Republican leaders said they would bring a new three-week funding bill (summary of program reductions and terminations included) to the House floor on March 15 as the current two-week continuing resolution expires on March 18. <a href=/issues/2011/crup.cfm> Status Update:</a> On March 17, the Senate passed (87-13) a sixth resolution (H.J. Res. 48) which will keep the government running through April 8. (Press Date 3/17/11)

Published: March 14, 2011
Updated: March 29, 2011

House Republican leaders said they will bring a new three-week funding bill to the House floor on March 15. The measure will provide more time for Congress and the White House to resolve differences over federal spending for the rest of the current fiscal year. The current two-week continuing resolution expires on March 18.

There are indications the impasse between House Republicans and Senate Democrats is likely to continue for some time. The Senate recently rejected both a House Republican plan to cut more than $60 billion and a less ambitious Democratic alternative (see 3/11/11 Cotton's Week). The new three-week spending bill (H.J. Res. 48) includes $6.1 billion in additional cuts and will give Congress and the White House until April 8 to reach an agreement.

Amid arguments about the final bill, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rogers (R-KY) released a summary of the new Continuing Resolution (CR) which includes $6.1 billion in cuts, reflecting the House Republican plan to cut $2 billion for every week of funding. He said all of the cuts also were included in H.R. 1, and many of the reductions and terminations were reflected in Obama's budget requests.

Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) issued a statement indicating support for the new short-term measure saying the $6.1 billion in cuts were negotiated with Democrats and the measure is free of legislative riders.

Included in the $6 billion is $3.5 billion in program cuts and terminations. They range from $50 million at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to $276 million for flu funding to $200 million for Wildland Fire Suppression. Another $2.6 billion in savings was found by eliminating earmark account funding that was automatically renewed in the CR approved last December, the Appropriations Committee said. The earmarks were within the Agriculture, Commerce/Justice/Science, Financial Services/General Government, and Interior subcommittee jurisdictions, it said.