Budget Congress works on a stopgap funding measure for fiscal 2012 | September 19, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 38 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 38 | p. 7 | News of The Week
Issue Date: September 19, 2011

Budget Congress works on a stopgap funding measure for fiscal 2012

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: Federal Budget

With days left until the start of fiscal 2012 and no final federal budget in sight, Congress has turned its attention to passing a short-term stopgap funding measure that would keep the government operating until Nov. 18.

Introduced on Sept. 14, the continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 79) sets funding for all federal agencies at $1.043 trillion—the cap agreed to in August’s debt-ceiling legislation. This cap is 1.4% lower than the 2011 budget, meaning agencies across the board are likely to have less money to work with until final appropriations are made.

A vote on the measure is expected this week in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, as both chambers are scheduled to be in recess the last week of the month. President Barack Obama will need to sign the measure before Oct. 1, the start of fiscal 2012.

“It is critical that Congress pass this [continuing resolution] and send it to the President as soon as possible,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold D. (Hal) Rogers (R-Ky.) in a statement. “The American people simply do not want or deserve—and our recovering economy can scarcely handle—the dangerous instability of a government shutdown.”

To date, the House Appropriations Committee has cleared 11 of 12 annual appropriations bill, but the full House has passed only six of those. The Senate Appropriations Committee is working on the bills, but had cleared only four by C&EN’s press time. The full Senate hasn’t passed any of the measures.

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