|September 28, 2011|
Previously published on September 27, 2011
Late last night, the Senate passed a compromise on the Continuing Resolution (CR). After rejecting a scheduled cloture vote, the Senate passed an amended version of the CR that had recently passed in the House. Then, the Senate passed a separate stopgap spending measure, using an existing appropriations bill. By passing independent legislation, the Senate has provided the House with two options to avert a government shutdown.
Under one scenario, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s amended version of the CR would provide $2.65 billion for FEMA and other disaster relief programs. This funding allocation is $1 billion less than the amount in the House CR. By decreasing the disaster aid funding level, the Senate avoided the issue of offsetting those costs, an action favored by the House. This CR legislation would guarantee government funding for six weeks.
The second measure that was passed yesterday in the Senate provides a short term solution for government funding. This legislation would keep the federal government operational for several days past the October 1st start of fiscal year 2012. The issue of FEMA disaster funding would not be addressed until a longer term CR could be negotiated.
House leaders are still deciding how and when to handle the two Continuing resolutions. The House is scheduled to meet in a pro forma session on Thursday. Republicans are thought to be leaning towards the short-term CR, leaving room for further deliberations on a long-term bill.