Appropriations are on the agenda this week as Congress returns from the Presidents' Day recess. With the continuing resolution (CR) that is currently funding government agencies set to expire on Friday, a government shutdown will occur unless a new CR is enacted before then.
Prior to the recess, the House passed a CR cutting over $61 billion from 2010 levels but Senate Democrats argued that a new CR should continue 2010 levels. This week the House and Senate are both expected to consider a new short-term CR that would keep the government open through March 18 and include an initial $4 billion in cuts.
Of that amount, $1.24 billion would come from program terminations and reductions requested in President Obama's budget and $2.7 billion would come from earmarks. Most other programs would continue to be funded at 2010 levels.
If approved by Congress and signed by the President, the new CR will provide policymakers with an additional two weeks to reach an agreement on 2011 appropriations.