July 25, 2014

Kicking the Budget Can Farther Down the Road

  • The federal budget process is a mixture of rules, timelines and norms that work together to influence policy decisions. It shapes how the...

To allow federal agencies to continue operating through Dec. 18, Congress last week approved another continuing resolution. The House approved the measure 239-178 and the Senate gave it unanimous consent.  President Obama signed it into law on Saturday.

A new continuing resolution was necessary because a previous one -- passed prior to the election -- expired on Dec. 3, and Congress unfortunately has still not passed any of the twelve appropriations bills for this fiscal year. The new resolution will fund most agencies at last year's enacted levels.

Also last week, the Senate failed to pass a Coburn amendment that would have imposed a 3-year moratorium on Senate earmarks. And in a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republicans threatened to block all other legislative matters until the Senate funds the government and extends certain tax cuts.