With FY09 set to come to a close on Wednesday September 30th and no FY10 appropriations bills completely through the legislative process and signed by the president, leaders in Congress are preparing a 30 day stop-gap continuing resolution (CR) that will keep the government running. A CR funds government operations (usually on a temporary basis) at the previous fiscal year’s level.
The House of Representatives has passed all of its 12 FY10 spending bills. However, progress in the Senate has been slow, largely due to negotiations over health care reform and consideration of judicial nominations. The Senate has only passed 5 spending bills, none of which have officially gone to House-Senate conference. Additionally, some reports have stated that the House of Representatives will not go to conference until the Senate acquiesces on a request to convert all earmarks targeted towards for-profit entities into competitive opportunities.