Another Continuing Resolution Introduced to Prevent Government Shutdown, Cut $12 billion in Spending
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today introduced another temporary funding measure – known as a Continuing Resolution (CR) – to prevent a government shutdown for an additional week while cutting a total of $12 billion in discretionary spending. The measure also includes funding for the Department of Defense for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Rogers’ statement and a summary of this legislation follows:
“My Committee has worked diligently and fervently to negotiate with the Senate on final agreement for funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year. However, at nearly every turn, these negotiations have been blocked by Senate Majority Leader Reid.
“Leader Reid has attempted to abuse the budget process to conceal additional spending through phony offsets and gimmicks. He has proposed damaging cuts to national defense to pay for lower-priority domestic programs. He has prohibited the involvement of his own Democrat Senators in negotiations. And, he has dictated that all policy provisions and legislative language be cleared through him and him alone – destroying the ability of negotiators to continue in their work.
“We cannot let the unruly actions of one person cause a government-wide shutdown and unravel the efforts House Republicans have made to significantly reduce spending and rein in our historic deficits. Therefore, I am introducing a short-term continuing resolution today to keep the government open for another week. This bill will cut $12 billion to help chip away at ballooning budgets, and includes responsible funding for our national defense for the rest of the fiscal year.
“This bill is not the preferable way to go forward, and I would greatly prefer to come to a final agreement with the Senate to put this long-overdue budget work behind us. However, we must maintain critical programs and services for the American people and protect our nation’s financial future. This legislation give us this option, while exacting a price for Leader Reid’s delays and allowing time to finally begin honest negotiations.”
The $12 billion in cuts contained in this legislation include funding rescissions, reductions, and program terminations. All of the cuts were also included in H.R.1, and many were included in the President’s budget requests or the Senate’s alternative to H.R. 1.
To view the text of the legislation, please visit: www.rules.house.gov.
A summary of the content and cuts in this CR follows:
This CR contains the Department of Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2011. The legislation includes $515.8 billion in base funding for the Department of Defense, a 2.9% reduction from the President’s fiscal year 2011 request, and a $7.6 billion, or 1.5%, increase over last year’s level. This common-sense funding level strikes a balance between the need for valid reductions and the requirements of our military without jeopardizing our national defense or the protection of our troops.
The CR provides a total of $157.8 billion for overseas contingency operations to advance our missions abroad. Also included is $126.4 billion for military personnel, providing for 1,432,400 active duty and 846,200 reserve troops. The bill contains a total of $165.6 billion for operations and maintenance, $102.1 billion for procurement, $75.0 billion for research and development, and $31.4 billion for Defense health programs.
This legislation also eliminates all Defense earmark account funding, a cut of $4.2 billion from last year’s level.
The CR includes approximately $1.4 billion in cuts to Agriculture programs compared to last year’s level. Some of these cuts include approximately $43 million in Department of Agriculture administrative costs including rent, facilities, and operations, $137 million from rural development and conservation accounts, $350 million from a dairy industry program that was intended to be one-time funds, and $39 million in unused broadband loan program funding.
The CR cuts $430 million for accounts within the Commerce/Science/Justice section. Some of the cuts include $149 million from federal law enforcement construction accounts, $22 million from the Census Bureau, $139 million from NASA construction projects and to continue the phase out of the Space Shuttle program, and $20 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) construction grants.
Energy and Water –
The Energy and Water section of the CR cuts a total of $632 million The legislation includes cuts that were included in both the House and Senate budget proposals, and/or the White House budget requests totaling $287 from nine programs – including $192 million from the Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup programs. In addition, $344 million is rescinded from unspent prior year balances or from programs which have been cancelled.
Military Construction/Veterans Affairs
The CR includes rescissions totaling $629.5 million from military construction accounts. These rescissions are the result of construction costs decreasing from original estimates due to a competitive bidding environment. In addition, funding for information technology programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs is reduced by $160 million to reflect cancellation of the FLITE project, $147 million is cut to reflect reduced personnel costs in fiscal year 2010, and $43 million is cut from VA construction programs to match the fiscal year 2011 budget request.
Financial Services –
The CR cuts a total of $590 million from Financial Services programs. Approximately $417 million is cut from various Treasury Department programs including $400 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund (saves $310 million compared to FY 10). In addition, $53 million is cut from accounts within the Executive Office of the President, $17 million is cut from Federal Judiciary accounts, $42 million is cut from programs within the District of Columbia, and a total of approximately $61 million is cut from various other accounts.
Homeland Security –
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programs are reduced by $1.4 billion. Funding is reduced from DHS programs the President proposed to cut in FY 2011, and from programs that are behind schedule, failing to execute their budgets, and that are not measuring their effectiveness. Specific reductions include $495 million from FEMA's first responder grants, $112 million from IT programs, and multiple reductions to administrative expenses. Security operations are funded at current levels and DHS is allowed flexibility to transfer funds as necessary to meet emergency needs, and critical operational requirements, to avoid furloughs or reductions in force, or to provide funding for critical programs and activities required by law.
Funding cuts in the Interior portion of the CR total $1.27 billion, and reflect several Administration proposed cuts contained in the President’s budget requests, as well as cuts to project-based grant, construction, and land acquisition accounts which can absorb funding reductions due to the fact that new projects have not been started for fiscal year 2011. Some of the reductions in the Interior section include $150 million in unobligated FY 10 Wildland Fire Suppression funding, $71.5 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, $80 million from the Fish and Wildlife Service, and $700 million from the Clean Water and Drinking Water Revolving Funds.
Labor/Health and Human Services –
The CR cuts $2.5 billion from Labor, Health and Human Services programs, many of which were also included in the President’s budget requests, in the Senate’s CR proposal, or in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) CR proposal. These cuts include $156 million from Centers for Disease Control Immunization and Respiratory Disease funding, $185 million in hospital preparedness grants, $119 million in “Teaching American History” program funding, $390 million from the LIHEAP contingency fund, and $300 million in excess information technology funding at the Social Security Administration.
State/Foreign Operations –
The State and Foreign Operations portion of the CR includes a total of $832 million in spending reductions. Some of these cuts include $212 million from international financial institutions, $466 million from various foreign assistance accounts (including Development Assistance and the Economic Support Fund), and $237 million from United Nations and peacekeeping activities that the US can offset through existing credits at the UN and by scaling back voluntary payments. In addition, the CR funds the full $3 billion foreign military financing commitment for the US-Israel Memorandum of Understanding for fiscal year 2011.
Transportation/ Housing and Urban Development –
The CR cuts Transportation and HUD programs by nearly $2 billion. Of this, $1.5 billion is cut from High Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service Capital Assistance through the elimination of excessive grant funds. In addition, Capital Investment Grants are cut by $280 million, the Public Housing Operating fund is cut by $149 million, and the University Community Fund is eliminated, saving $25 million.
Other Items –
The legislation includes language preventing Guantanamo Bay detainees from being transferred into the United States for any purpose, prevents the construction or modification of detention facilities within the U.S for the housing of detainees, and requires the Secretary of Defense notify Congress before the transfer of detainees to a foreign country or entity. This language is virtually identical to existing law that was included in the National Defense Authorization Act.
The CR also includes a provision