Status of FY 2011 Appropriations >>

February 3rd, 2011

Status of FY 2011 Appropriations

Fiscal conservatives concerned with the federal deficit have pledged to cut overall federal spending by $100 billion. They are actively working to cut spending immediately by cutting funding for the remaining 7 months of FY 2011 (March 2011-September 2011).

At the end of the 111th Congress, federal legislators passed a series of continuing resolutions to temporarily fund the government. However, Congress failed to finalize FY 2011 appropriations before adjourning. That job now lies in the hands of the 112th Congress. The current continuing resolution is set to expire on March 4, 2011.

Fiscal conservatives took one step toward the goal of cutting $100 billion in federal spending on January 25th when they approved House Resolution 38, which directs Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) to set non-security spending allocations for the remainder of FY 2011 at “fiscal year 2008 levels or less.”

It is unlikely that this hard line stance will be adopted in the Senate. The Senate has not considered a resolution similar to H. Res. 38 to limit FY 2011 spending. The White House deficit reduction plan includes a proposal to freeze domestic spending at current levels for the next five fiscal years.

The battle on FY 2011 spending will come to a head before March 4, 2011, when Congress must finalize FY 2011 appropriations. Because of the differing approaches of the House and Senate, Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) has indicated that Congress may have to again pass a temporary continuing resolution to fund the government. If this is the case, FY 2011 spending will likely be frozen at FY 2010 levels with some exceptions.

FY 2012 Appropriations

In addition to the fight over FY 2011 funding, it will be a year-long battle over FY 2012 spending levels — a battle that will begin with the release of the President’s Budget. Federal law requires the President to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February. However, the White House has indicated that the FY 2012 Budget will be released after February 14, 2011.

While the fight over spending will last the entire year, we must continue to do all that we can to educate all Members of Congress about the federal treaty and trust obligations to provide for the health care and general welfare of all American Indians.

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