Congress Passes Continuing Resolution Until March 4
Last week, Democratic leaders in the Senate concluded that they did not have the 60 votes needed to defeat a Republican filibuster of the FY11 omnibus (all the 12 appropriations bills together in one package) — a number of Republican senators who had expressed support for an omnibus decided they would oppose it under strong pressure from Republican leadership. They also decided they could not pass the year-long continuing resolution (CR) passed by the House (a CR continues current funding levels into the next fiscal year for a period of time). Before they adjorn, the Senate will pass a CR to fund the government through March 4. At that point, the next Congress will convene and negotiate a measure to provide funding for the remainder of the fiscal year (FY12 begins October 1, 2011). In the meantime, funding will continue at FY 2010 levels. There will be a battle to for international affairs fundings, as incoming House Republicans have stated they want to roll back funding to FY08 levels.