Latest CR Proposal Would Fund Government to March 4, 2011

Latest CR Proposal Would Fund Government to March 4, 2011

Yesterday (Sunday), the newest version of a FY2011 Continuing Resolution (CR) was filed in the Senate as an amendment to H.R. 3082. It would fund the government through March 4, 2011. H.R. 3082 as passed by the House would fund the government through the end of FY2011 (September 30, 2011).

A summary of the amendment’s major provisions provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee does not mention NASA and a thorough reading of the amendment (Reid amendment SA 4885, pages S10742-45 of yesterday’s Congressional Record) does not uncover any special language with regard to the agency either. That would mean that if this version is enacted, NASA still would be subject to the restrictions imposed by the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act on not cancelling Constellation or initiating an alternative. The House-passed version of the bill relieves NASA of that constraint and makes specific funding decisions that would conform FY2011 appropriations fairly closely with the provisions of the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.

A cloture vote on the new Senate CR is scheduled for Tuesday. If it garners the requisite 60 votes, then the Senate would vote on the bill and send it back to the House. The House will be in session on Tuesday, the day that the current CR expires. It could vote to accept the Senate amendment, or to reject or amend it. Either of the last two choices would mean more back and forth between the two chambers until they can agree on a final bill in these closing days of the 111th Congress.

House Democrats had not wanted a short-term CR because it will give Republicans more power to shape FY2011 funding as they retake control of the House on January 5.

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