December 20, 2010
The Senate Appropriations Committee has released a summary of a fourth continuing resolution, which would keep the government operating through March 4th at FY10 spending levels. The new CR comes after a failed attempt to advance a new spending package for FY11. The passage a CR through March 4th, as expected this week, would defer spending decisions on FY11 until the new Congress is sworn in. It is quite possible that a CR could be put into place for the entire current fiscal year, which would remove earmarks from the spending bills and level fund the government for a year. One piece of positive news in the CR was a commitment to maintain the maximum Pell Grant level at $5,550. A $5.7 billion shortfall in the program could have resulted in significant decreases in award levels.