Congress Approves CR to Fund Government Through Nov. 18

October 6, 2011 Bookmark and Share

The House of Representatives approved on Tuesday a continuing resolution that will fund government operations until Nov. 18.

The short-term CR was approved by the Senate last week.

It follows an even shorter-term measure, which ran from the beginning of the 2012 fiscal year on Saturday until Tuesday and was necessitated because of a House recess last week.

While the latest CR answers the immediate funding question, it does not lay out a plan for funding past mid-November, which is expected to be controversial and wrapped up in the larger process of cutting trillions from federal spending.

Thus far, the regular-order appropriations process has not produced any of the 12 traditional spending bills. The House has approved six, including an agriculture measure that cut deeply into research programs, while the Senate has approved just one.

The super committee charged with finding cuts – at least $1.5 trillion over ten years – is set to report its recommendations to Congress by Nov. 23, with Congressional approval required before Dec. 23 to avoid automatic cuts under a process called sequestration.

While the regular appropriations process and the super committee process are logistically separate, FY2012 negotiations are proceeding based on a budget cap of $1.043 trillion, which was agreed to by President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders earlier in the year as part of the same negotiations that led to the debt reduction effort.

NAWG and other agricultural groups are closely watching both spending negotiation tracks to ensure key discretionary spending investments are made in the short term for agricultural research, market development and other programs, as well as to gain information about the long-term effects of debt reduction efforts on mandatory farm policy spending.