An update on funding the federal government
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Today is November 4, which means the supercommittee has less than three weeks to produce a plan to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years. We are also now over a month into the federal government’s new fiscal year without any year-long spending bills for federal government agencies.
This month, as Congress works to get its fiscal house in order, the chaos can be difficult to follow.
Last week, the Senate passed a $128 billion “minibus” spending bill, which represents a compilation of three appropriations bills into one bill. The minibus would fund the Agriculture; Commerce, Science, and Justice; and Transportation and Housing agencies through the rest of the fiscal year. Last week, that bill went into conference to work out differences between the House and the Senate versions.
If this bill is signed into law (since no other year-long appropriations bills have yet been sent to the President) nine more appropriations bills will remain on the to-do list to fully fund the federal government through the remainder of this fiscal year.
This week, the Senate is projected to consider a new minibus, which would combine the Energy, Financial Services, and Foreign Operation appropriations bills into one bill.
However, there is no talk in Washington of having all appropriations bills passed by November 18, when the current temporary stopgap funding measure, or continuing resolution, expires. However, conference negotiators are expected to attach a new continuing resolution to the first minibus this week, which could keep the federal government open through mid-December.
As always, we promise to keep you updated as new details emerge. In the mean time, for more information on the appropriations process, see our Appropriations Briefing Book.