Congress Postpones Tough Decisions on FY 2011 Federal Budget

Before adjourning sine die, the 111th Congress passed, and President Obama signed into law, a continuing resolution (CR) (H.R. 3082) for fiscal year (FY) 2011 that keeps federal government agencies funded until March 4, 2011. FY ‘11 agency budgets were frozen at FY 2010 funding levels.

Republican leadership in the House and Senate have pledged to attempt to cut discretionary funding in the FY ‘11 budget back to FY 2008 levels when the CR expires next year. As a result, the long-term implications for federal agency programs in the second half of the 2011 fiscal year are not known at this time.

Attempts by Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to either pass a year-long CR or an omnibus spending bill that would have contained all 12 appropriations bills in one package failed in the final days of the 111th Congress. Congress failed to enact any of the FY 2011 appropriations bills in 2010.