December 20, 2010
Fact Sheet – FY 2011 Temporary Continuing Resolution (CR) Summary
For the final time, the Democrat leadership will attempt to pass a last-ditch Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown and to keep federal agencies and programs operating into next year. This legislation is the result of the complete failure of the Democrat majority to do the most basic work of Congress and pass a budget resolution or a single one of the twelve Appropriations bills this year. Instead of doing the right thing and enacting the Republican plan to reduce spending to fiscal year 2008 levels – which would save the taxpayers nearly $100 billion compared to the President’s FY 2011 request – the Democrat majority will cap off the year with yet another massive spending bill that will force our nation into further deficits and debt.
Under this CR, funding will continue at the Democrats’ fiscal year 2010 enacted levels for programs through March 4, 2011. The CR includes some provisions – called “anomalies” – to extend authorizations or allow for continuous normal operations through March 4, 2011, for certain programs that would otherwise be disrupted.
However, this CR also contains a $5.7 billion bailout of the Pell Grant program – a perennial priority of the House Democrat leadership and Appropriations Committee Chairman Obey. In addition, Democrats in the House and Senate have refused to include a critical provision to prevent the transfer or release of Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States, putting the security of the American people at risk.
The following is a summary of the “anomalies” included in the temporary CR:
- Includes a $5.7 billion bailout for the Pell Grant program – due to the use of budget “gimmicks” in the past, the Pell Grant program is now facing a shortfall for the 2010-2011 academic year;
- Implements a pay freeze for Federal civilian employees for two calendar years starting in 2011;
- Adjusts the amount available for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to allow the agency to continue normal operations;
- Extends National Defense Authorization Act authorities for Department of Defense programs including counterdrug and counterterrorism activities, military personnel special pay, civilian special pay, intelligence commercial activities, and certain overseas contingency operations;
- Allows the Navy to implement its acquisition strategy for Littoral Combat Ships;
- Provides (for DOD) an extension of eligibility to continue Federal Employee Health Benefits for former employees enrolled in Temporary Continuation of Coverage;
- Provides funding for critical audits and investigations of the Troubled Asset Relief Program;
- Prevents the elimination of funding for reduced fee loans for small businesses that would otherwise expire;
- Allows the SEC to make the usual annual fee adjustments under a 2002 statute
- Exempts the FCC's Universal Service Fund (USF) from the Anti-deficiency Act - without this language USF fees would go up and costs would be passed on to customers;
- Provides transfer authority for the TSA to allow for efforts against terrorist attacks, such as the attack on Northwest Flight 253 last December and the recent attempts against all-cargo aircraft;
- Provides transfer authority to the Coast Guard to address operational challenges, such as military pay;
- Includes a provision related to the National Bio- and Agro- Defense Facility to allow the project to move forward;
- Makes a technical correction to the current CR to allow the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (formerly the Minerals Management Service (MMS)) to utilize all offsetting collections - the funding available to the Bureau does not change;
- Allows the Interior Secretary start the reorganization MMS by establishing budget accounts within the Treasury and authorizing the reassignment of personnel;
- Allows the continuation of current law related to the distribution of geothermal energy receipts to Western counties;
- Ensures that HHS obligates the same amount for LIHEAP during the CR as it obligated during the same period in FY10;
- Clarifies the definition of a “highly qualified teacher” – setting standard criteria for schools to use when hiring teachers;
- Allows the U.S. Capitol Police to use previously expired funds to pay for the Truck Interdiction Monitoring Program;
- Adjusts the current rate of operations for the Veterans Benefits Administration to $2.1 billion, an increase of $460 million over the FY 2010 appropriation, to prevent layoffs of claims processors and to support efforts in reducing the processing times of disability claims;
- Extends authority for current surface transportation programs to ensure that State Governments and local transit agencies will be able to continue their ongoing infrastructure projects.
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