Monday, December 20, 2010

Middle Length Continuing Resolution

The current plan in the Senate to solve the appropriations situation is offer an amendment (S. Amdt 4885; the text can be found on pages S210742-4 of the December 19th Congressional Record) in the form of a substitute for HR 3082. That amendment would, in turn, amend the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Public Law 111–242) that was passed in late September. It will extend the date for that Continuing Resolution to March 4, 2011, and will make some relatively minor spending changes.

As of this evening, it does not appear that there will be anything in the S. Amdt 4885 that will directly affect the chemical security community other than the extension of the current CFATS authorization to March 4, 2011. There will be a cloture vote to cut off debate on the amendment tomorrow (12-21-10), and hopefully the bill will pass soon enough to allow the House to vote on agreeing to the amendment before the midnight close of the current continuing resolution.

If Sen. Reid cannot get the necessary votes for cloture on this Amendment (he will almost certainly get the votes in my opinion as this amendment is essentially what both the Senate and House Republicans asked for in the first place, to allow them to set the spending program for the remainder of FY 2011 when the House Republicans come into power in January), the House will have to pass another short term CR (probably until Christmas Eve) to allow a better deal to be worked out.

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