New Fiscal Year Approaches, Continuing Resolution in the Works

On Friday, October 1, 2010, the 2011 fiscal year begins for the federal government. In order to fund government programs, Congress will pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) this week.

Discussions are focused on which chamber will pass the CR first and how “clean it will be." House Democratic leaders want the Senate to act on the CR first since it could have implications for passing an omnibus appropriations bill after the elections, during the lame-duck session.

Republicans are pressing for a “clean” CR without extra funding, while Democrats have expressed interest in adding funding for Pell Grants to help low-income college students. Republican leaders are also calling for the CR to include a spending cap for FY 2011 and even cutting 2011 spending to 2008 levels.