Last Friday, Senate Democrats released a summary of their version of a Continuing Resolution for the rest of FY 2011 that would cut $51 billion from the President’s FY 2011 request compared to the $100 billion that the House cut in HR 1.
The Senate CR proposes $2.327 billion for the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation account, which is $360 million below the FY 2011 request but nearly $300 million more than HR 1. The bill summary states that this level of funding maintains U.S. efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear materials in 4 years.
I have not seen a figure for the Defense Department’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program or the State Department’s nuclear security programs. The draft Senate CR funds the Pentagon base budget at $513.6 billion and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at $157.8 billion for a total of $671.3 billion. That total is $17.3 billion less than the President’s request and $2.1 billion less than HR 1.
Also of note, the Senate CR provides $6.824 billion for NNSA’s weapons activities account, which is $185 million below the FY 2011 request but over $120 million more than HR 1.
The Senate will hold stand-alone votes on both HR 1 and the Senate Democratic alternative this week (probably tomorrow), both of which are likely to fail to achieve cloture. Negotiations will then begin on a full year CR. However the House and the Senate may not be able to reconcile their differences before the current two week CR expires on March 18, meaning there will likely be yet another short term CR to fund the government through the rest of March.
The Senate proposal for the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation account is an improvement over the House proposal, but it is still not enough. The number in the draft Senate CR is likely to be the high-water mark for NNSA’s nonproliferation budget for the next two years unless the administration and members of Congress make a strong push for the full FY2011 request.