Federal Relations

June 22, 2011

Progress on Debt and FY12 Appropriations

FY12 Appropriations Senate appropriators have been holding off on their FY12 bills, waiting for an agreement on overall discretionary spending to be reached through the ongoing bipartisan debt reduction talks. But because the end of the current fiscal year is just over three months away, they indicated yesterday that the Senate would move forward with

June 3, 2011

First FY12 Appropriations Bill Approved

Appropriations On Thursday the House passed their FY12 Homeland Security bill, its first FY12 appropriations measure of the year. Democrats have declared the funding levels in the bill insufficient and are particularly unhappy about cuts to homeland security and first responder grants, although some funding to hire/re-hire/retain firefighters was restored by an amendment on Wednesday.

June 1, 2011

SBIR Extension Signed by President

The President signed a bill late last week that will extend the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program until September 30, 2011. The previous extension was set to expire on the 31st of May. There is no increase to the set-aside at this time which will remain at 2.5% for research agencies with R&D budgets greater than $100

May 11, 2011

DREAM Act Reintroduced

Senate Democrats plan to reintroduce the DREAM Act.  Just like the previous versions over the past several years, this year’s version will likely authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional nonimmigrant status, an alien who: (1) entered the United States before his or her 16th birthday and

May 5, 2011

SBIR Reauthorization Makes Progress in House, Hits Roadblock in Senate

The Senate convened this morning to vote on a motion to invoke cloture that aimed to limit further debate on the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) bill (S493) and its reauthorization through 2019, but failed to meet the required minimum of 60 votes. There was increased controversy arising from the bill, as amendments attached to

April 5, 2011

Shutdown, FY12, and a Balanced Budget Amendment…

Shutdown Countdown… Late last night, House Republicans announced that they’re prepared to pass a new one-week continuing resolution (CR) extension with an additional $12 billion in cuts to FY11 unless Democrats “get serious about making real spending cuts on a long-term bill” for the remainder of the year.  The two parties have been negotiating over

April 4, 2011

FY11 Showdown and FY12 Startup

The FY11 budget predicament reaches its climax this week as tea party conservatives and Democratic leaders clash over how much, or how little, to slash from this year’s budget, and whether to include conservative policy riders that limit the federal government’s ability to spend money on things like Planned Parenthood, environmental regulations, and other liberal

March 30, 2011

FY11 Compromise or Government Shutdown?

Negotiations on the FY11 budget continued yesterday mostly through competing press conferences where Republicans and Democrats traded blame, with little indication of any movement toward a compromise.  The likelihood of government shutdown remains high as Democrats continued to argue that GOP leaders were refusing to compromise because they didn’t want to upset conservatives and tea

March 28, 2011

Congress Continues Work on FY11 Budget

Congress returns to work today for a three-week session where lawmakers face some difficult budget and spending decisions.  The most urgent task remains funding the government for the rest of FY11, with the latest continuing resolution (CR) set to expire in less than two weeks (April 8th). The current CR cut another $6 billion in

March 17, 2011

New CR Through April 8th

** UPDATE 3/17 ** This afternoon, the Senate voted 87-13 in favor of a three-week stopgap spending measure, or continuing resolution (CR), that would keep the federal government funded through April 8th.   The new CR includes $6 billion in cuts to the federal budget. Some conservative House Republicans had pledged to vote against the measure,

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