April 3, 2009
On Thursday April 2nd, the House of Representative and Senate approved the FY2010 Budget Resolution, which sets-up a conference session to iron out differences in the legislation between the two chambers. A budget resolutuion serves as a blueprint for Congress in putting together an actual budget. Over the past few weeks, House and Senate Budget Committees held hearings on the budget, which involved Administration offices. While the budget resolution does not require the President’s signature, it does support his goals of a health care overhaul, energy independence, boosting education, and reducing the deficit over the next 5-10 years.
The Senate adopted the legislation late in the night after working through over 100 proposed amendments, most of which were turned away. One amendment of particular note, proposed by Senator John McCain would have dramatically reduced domestic discretionary spending with the goal of providing greater deficit reduction, failed on a 38-60 vote. Other amendments proposed reducing spending in areas that received funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. However, all such amendments were defeated handily.
The House and Senate are expected to reach a conference agreement on the budget resolution after the two-week spring congressional recess that starts today. The FY2010 budget process will likely play out over the course of the next five months. President Obama’s official budget request is now expected in early May, and consideration by the various appropriations committees and subcommittees is expected to last into the fall.