As Laicie noted yesterday, with the end of FY 2010 set for 12:00 AM on Oct. 1, the last major piece of legislation lawmakers need to wrap up before heading out for the elections is a Continuing Resolution (CR) to ensure that the federal government keeps operating.
While the CR will fund most programs at FY 2010 spending levels through December 3, the Senate version of the bill contains some exceptions for funding above FY 2010 levels.
One of those exceptions is the Obama administration’s budget request for a $624 million increase for weapons activities at NNSA. The CR apparently specifically links the exception to the New START treaty. Word from the Hill as late as this afternoon was that this funding, which has already been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, would not be included in the CR.
Stay tuned for more developments, particularly whether the House signs on to the addition.
UPDATE 9/30 9:30 AM: Yesterday evening the Senate passed the CR by a vote of 69-30. Later in the evening the House passed the bill, which also included the $624 million exception for NNSA, 228-194. According to House Appropriations Committee summary of the CR, the funding “anomaly” for NNSA is “in support of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).” Its no secret that the Obama administration wanted this money added on to the bill, but amidst all the shrieking for a “clean CR” it wasn’t clear until the last minute whether the money would make it.
President Obama will sign the CR sometime today.
CLARIFICATION 9/30 (1:45 PM): Since the CR only runs until December 3, technically the bill does not contain a $624 million increase above FY2010, but rather 2 months of funding in line with the FY2011 request. If during the lame duck the Energy and Water appropriations bill is conferenced and passed, rolled into an omnibus appropriations bill, or if it is the subject of another CR after December 3, the status of the remainder of the FY2011 request could change. Regardless, the decision to fund NNSA weapons activities at FY2011 levels in the CR is yet further evidence of the administration’s commitment to maintain the stockpile and modernize the infrastructure.