Congress Adopts FY11 Spending Package, Debate Turns to FY12

Congress Adopts FY11 Spending Package, Debate Turns to FY12

As reported previously on April 8, 2011, Congress agreed in principle on FY11 funding levels, avoiding a government shutdown. Congress spent this past week ironing out the details of the agreement that funds the government through the remainder of FY11 (September 30, 2011). On Thursday, April 14, 2011, the House and Senate voted in favor of H.R. 1473, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, which will now go to President Obama today. He is expected to sign the measure. The House voted in favor of H.R. 1473 by a vote of 260-167 (59 Republicans and 108 Democrats opposed the bill). The bill received broader support in the Senate, easily passing by a vote of 81-19.

The bill cuts $39.9 billion from FY10 spending levels. Thanks in large part to the work of House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Ranking Member Jim Moran (D-VA), tribal programs at the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service avoided specific cuts, but were subject to the 0.2% across the board cuts that all federal programs received.

Now that the FY11 spending package will be enacted into law, the national spending debate turns to FY12. Today (April 15th), the House is set to vote on the FY12 budget, which sets spending allocations for the various appropriations subcommittees to follow. The “Path to Prosperity,” released by Paul Ryan (R-WI), proposes cuts of at least $5 trillion dollars of spending over the next decade by reforming Medicaid to become a block grant program, reconfiguring Medicare to be a voucher program, defunding health care reform, and reducing taxes.

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Postpones Public Witness Hearings on Native American Issues

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Postpones Public Witness Hearings on Native American Issues

Due to the need for the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to draft the spending package that would fund the federal government through the remainder of FY11 (ends on September 30, 2011) and to work toward its passage before the expiration of the current continuing resolution that expires on April 15, 2011, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies has postponed its public witness hearings on Native American issues previously scheduled for April 12-13. The Subcommittee will reschedule the hearings at a later date.

Congressional Agreement on FY11 Funding – Finally

Congressional Agreement on FY11 Funding – Finally

In the wee hours just after the expiration of the current continuing resolution (the Senate extension passed at 12:20 a.m., the House at 12:40 a.m.), the Congress passed its 7th short term extension of FY11 funding through April 15th, avoiding a government shut down. Leaders agreed on a framework that would fund the government for the remainder of FY11 through September 30th, and cut more than $37 billion in spending. The one-week “bridge extension” provides congressional leaders time to put the agreement into legislative language and debate the measure before sending to President Obama.