Congressional Action on FY12 Continuing Resolutions to Fund the Government >>

October 4th, 2011

Congressional Action on FY12 Continuing Resolutions to Fund the Government

FY11 ended on Friday, September 30th, and October 1st marked the first day of FY12. On September 26th, the Senate passed two continuing resolutions (CR) — one that will fund the government until October 4th, and another that will fund it through November 18th. The Senate passed two CR’s because the U.S. House of Representatives was essentially in recess last week and had determined that it only had enough votes to pass a shorter-term October 4th CR without more time for debate. On September 29th, the House, through a unanimous consent process that only required the presence of a handful of members, passed the October 4th CR. The President signed the bill the same day. This CR provides for across the board cuts of 1.5% below FY11 funding levels for all programs and operations for the short duration of the CR.

Today, the House will take up a Senate-passed FY12 CR that would extend funding through November 18th, 2011. Like the current CR, funding levels in the November 18th CR are approximately 1.5% below FY11 levels.

If the House passes the November 18th CR, appropriators in both the House and Senate will work to develop a FY12 omnibus appropriations bill or several “mini-bus” appropriations bills (that bundle the 12 different appropriations bills in groups of 3 or 4 bills). In developing these bills, Congress will consider the recommendations of the various appropriations subcommittees, many of which have held hearings and marked up individual FY12 spending bills. In the House, tribal program funding levels in the FY12 Interior appropriations bill have been spared cuts for the most part and have even received increases in some programs thanks to champions for Indian country on the House Appropriations Committee, like Congressmen Mike Simpson (R-ID), Jim Moran (D-VA), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Betty McCollum (D-MN). The Interior appropriations bill provides, among other things, funding for BIA and IHS operations and programs. The Senate has not marked up its version of the FY12 Interior appropriations bill. However, given the extreme polarization in Congress, especially in the House, another distinct possibility is that Congress may be forced to enact a series of temporary CR’s as it did last year, when it finally enacted a year-long CR in April of 2011.

Mapetsi will continue to monitor these funding bills and keep you posted on developments.

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