Continuing Resolution Introduced to Keep Government Running, Provide Much-Needed Disaster Funding
September 14, 2011 -
The House Appropriations Committee today introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government operating past the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The legislation, H.J.Res. 79, also contains a total of $3.65 billion in disaster relief funding to provide much-needed assistance to the thousands of people affected by Hurricane Irene, recent wildfires, the devastating floods and tornados in the Midwest and South, the Mid-Atlantic earthquake, and other natural disasters.
The CR is a must-pass bill that is necessary to prevent a government shutdown and continue federal operations until all Appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2012 is enacted. Currently, the House Appropriations Committee has moved on 11 of the 12 annual Appropriations bills – with six bills having cleared the House. The CR introduced today continues government operations at a rate of $1.043 trillion – the total amount agreed to by the Congress and the White House in the recent debt-ceiling legislation – and runs until November 18.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers stressed the importance of the bill and urged quick passage by Congress:
“While the House has made remarkable progress on funding bills for the next fiscal year, additional time is needed to complete this essential work. A Continuing Resolution will allow time for Congress to pass annual Appropriations legislation, while maintaining vital government programs and services in the short term.
“This CR will also help meet the needs of the thousands of families, businesses, and communities overwhelmed by Mother Nature in recent natural disasters. By providing an immediate $1 billion in emergency funding to help people now, as well as an additional $2.65 billion to ensure that recovery continues into the next fiscal year, this legislation will support desperately needed recovery and relief efforts in these disaster areas. In addition, the Committee will continue to address disaster needs as the fiscal year 2012 Appropriations process moves forward.
“It is critical that Congress pass this CR and send it to the President as soon as possible. The American people simply do not want or deserve – and our recovering economy can scarcely handle – the dangerous instability of a government shutdown, or any unnecessary holdups in disaster recovery efforts. It is also my intention to complete the fiscal year 2012 Appropriations work without any further delay – at the funding level agreed to by the House, Senate and White House on the Budget Control Act – to provide the programs and services people count on and to help put our nation’s finances back on track,” Chairman Rogers said.
For the text of the legislation, please visit: http://rules.house.gov/Media/file/PDF_112_1/Floor_Text/FY12CR%20FY11914.pdf
The CR continues government operations and services and allows time for Congress to complete the fiscal year 2012 Appropriations bills that provide annual funding for the federal government.
- Rate: The CR allows funding for the federal government to continue at a rate of $1.043 trillion – the total amount to which the Congress and the White House agreed in the recent debt-ceiling legislation. This is a 1.5% cut from the fiscal year 2011 level.
- Length: The CR will expire on midnight, November 18, 2011.
- Disaster Funding: The CR includes a total of $3.65 billion for disaster relief to ensure that those affected by recent disasters can get the relief they need now, and to allow recovery and rebuilding efforts to continue into the next fiscal year. Within this disaster funding, $1 billion is designated for fiscal year 2011 and will be available immediately upon enactment of the bill. This includes $226 million for Army Corps of Engineers flood control efforts, and $774 million for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). This fiscal year 2011 funding is offset by a $1.5 billion cut to the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. In addition, $2.65 billion for the FEMA DRF is provided for continued recovery efforts in fiscal year 2012.
- Provisions: This clean CR includes minimal additional provisions – providing only small changes for essential budgetary “anomalies.” However, some provisions are required to maintain safety, security, and continuity of necessary services, such as:
- A delay in a mandatory payment from the United States Postal Service to ensure the continuation of mail services;
- An extension of the availability of defense survival equipment such as body armor and MRAPs for coalition efforts abroad;
- Funding for the continuation of activities at the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board;
- An extension of Federal Flood Insurance availability;
- Funding for national security activities for special events such as international governmental meetings; and
- An extension of Secret Service undercover investigations authority.
- Burma: Attached to the legislation is H.J. Res. 66, a bill that approves the renewal of certain import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003. This bi-partisan legislation simply continues existing law, and was previously passed by the House on a voice vote earlier this year.