Federal Relations

March 12, 2011

Congress Prepares Next Short-Term CR

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee revealed the details of the next short-term continuing resolution (CR), which would keep the federal government funded through April 8th.  The current CR expires on March 18th.  The new spending measure would cut another $6 billion below current levels.  The package would fulfill the Republican leadership’s commitment to cut $2 billion per week with each short-term extension for FY11.

The new proposed CR would cut approximately $3.5 billion by either terminating or reducing 25 federal programs.  The measure also seeks $2.6 billion in “earmark terminations.”  Included in the earmark terminations are cuts of $123 million from research and education activities and $12 million from extension programs of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) at the USDA, which may mean that those agencies would have less money to offer through competitive grants.

This short-term measure would also reduce, among other “earmarks”, the Research Facilities Construction account at the NIST by $47 million and the Operations, Research and Facilities account at NOAA by $99 million.

Funding levels for student aid programs and the largest scientific research agencies are not altered by this CR.

Reports indicate that both leaders of the House and Senate have preliminarily signed off on this latest short-term CR. Passage is expected next week, prior to expiration of the current CR next Friday evening, March 18th.