On October 4, Congress passed a second continuing resolution (CR), H.R. 2608, which funds the federal government in lieu of Congress completing its FY12 appropriations bills by the October 1 start of the fiscal year. The President signed the CR into law on October 5. It is effective until November 18. On September 29, Congress passed a short-term, four day CR that funded the government through October 4 (see Memo, 9/30).
H.R. 2608 allows Congress seven additional weeks past the start of the fiscal year to negotiate and pass its 12 appropriations bills and cuts the “rate of operations” for government agencies by 1.503%.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved its FY12 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill, S. 1596, on September 21. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has announced he intends to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. The House T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee passed its bill on September 8. The House, however, is not expected to take up its own bill in the full appropriations committee nor bring it to the House floor for a vote.
Both the House and Senate bills would cut funding for HUD programs significantly below the FY11 funding level and neither provides enough funding to prevent current tenants from losing their homes.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations and the full House have passed an FY12 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies spending bill. The House passed H.R. 2122 on June 16 and the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amended version of H.R. 2122 on September 7 (see Memo, 6/17, 9/9). The Senate is expected to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. The House bill would make severe cuts to Section 521 rural rental assistance and would not provide enough funding to serve current tenants.
The House and Senate will need to negotiate final funding levels for the T-HUD and Agriculture bills over the next few weeks. Congress is expected to pass the final bills in either an omnibus bill or several smaller bills that include two or more of the 12 appropriations bills.