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October 5, 2011

Stopgap Measure Buys Congress Time

Budget: Short-term resolution provides funds to keep federal government running through mid-November

Susan R. Morrissey

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In the early hours of Oct. 5, President Barack Obama signed a short-term budget bill that keeps the federal government running through Nov. 18. This second "continuing resolution" sets government spending at $1.043 trillion for 2012, the amount agreed upon in the debt ceiling law enacted in August (C&EN, Aug. 8, page 12).

The new continuing resolution was passed by the House of Representatives on Oct. 4 and the Senate late last month. The measure (H.R. 2608) essentially holds funding for most agencies flat at 2011 levels and lacks emergency funding for disaster relief, which doomed a prior stopgap measure. The House and Senate in late September cleared a continuing resolution to keep the government running for the first few days of fiscal 2012, which started on Oct. 1.

"We have now entered into the new fiscal year, and we need to keep the doors of the government open to the American people who rely on its programs and services," said House Appropriation Committee Chairman Hal D. Rogers (R-Ky.) prior to the House vote on Oct. 4. "We simply must not leave our citizens in the lurch."

Rogers noted that H.R. 2608 gives Congress time to finish work on the 12 federal appropriations bills for 2012. To date in the House, six bills have passed the full chamber and another three have been cleared by the Appropriations Committee. The Senate Appropriations Committee has cleared 10 bills and the full Senate has passed one.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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