UPDATED: Events of Interest: Week of April 4-8, 2011

UPDATED: Events of Interest: Week of April 4-8, 2011

The following events may be of interest in the week ahead. For more information, see our calendar on the right menu or click the links below.

During the Week

Yes, it is another week consumed with concern about whether there will be a government shutdown. The current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on Friday at midnight and Congress has not passed anything to replace it. Some pundits are speculating that despite assertions by many members on both sides of the aisle that they would not pass still another short-term CR, that is exactly what may happen. In this case, it may be a CR for only a few days, however. One scenario has it that the House will pass a CR on Friday, but that clearly does not give the Senate time to act, and thus a few-day CR might be necessary. Difficult to tell how well the two sides are coming together on reaching agreement on budget numbers and policy riders for the “full year” CR.

All of that, of course, concerns FY2011, the fiscal year already underway. This is the time of year when the next year’s budget usually is debated, and Congress is moving forward with consideration of FY2012. The first congressional step in crafting a budget is supposed to be House and Senate passage of budget resolutions that set the top line numbers for federal spending on everything — mandatory programs like social security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as discretionary programs like DOD, NASA and the government agencies with which we are all familiar. Last year, neither the House nor the Senate was able to pass a budget resolution and House Republicans have vowed to pass one this year to demonstrate that they are more fiscally reponsible than Democrats who controlled the House last year. House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan is expected to release his version of the House budget resolution on Tuesday, with comitmtee markup expected on Wednesday. although it is not yet listed on the committee’s website.

As many policy wonks point out, the stormy debate over what to do about FY2011 is really just a warm up for FY2012, where Republicans are expected to demand even deeper cuts, and not just to discretionary programs, but to Medicare and Medicaid, too. Apparently they are still debating how far to go in changing the very popular Social Security program.

Monday, April 4

  • Launch of Soyuz TMA-21, 5:18 pm CDT (6:18 pm EDT), watch on NASA TV. Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the EDT launch time.

Tuesday, April 5

Tuesday-Wednesday, April 5-6

Wednesday-Thursday, April 6-7

  • NRC Space Studies Board, NRC Keck Center, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC (April 6 is joint with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board). Some sessions of this meeting are closed..
  • International Space Station and Mars conference, George Washington University, Washington DC

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