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Federal Government Gets Three-Week Spending Extension

| On 15, Mar 2011

The lights will stay on, at least until April 8, at federal offices across the U.S.

The lights were supposed to go dim in federal offices by the close of business on Friday, March 18. The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a temporary measure to prevent that from happening until April 8.

The measure, also known as a continuing resolution (CR), was passed 271-158 on Tuesday afternoon. Time was running out for Congress to act on the CR. If it had not passed both houses of Congress and received President Obama’s signature by Friday, the federal government would have been closed for business. Now they have three weeks before they are in the same position all over again.

Today’s action is not even a bandage over the wound. The federal government has been operating off of CRs since last year. Congress has still not passed a formal budget and we are halfway through the budget year that started on October 1, 2010. Yeah I know … It makes no sense.

So, the next three weeks will see Congress working with the White House to hopefully craft the final budget. Expect to see a strong fight and some major cuts in discretionary spending if and when the final budget passes. I can already tell there will be some hurt feelings behind this one.

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