Last week the House voted 212-206 to pass a continuing resolution to fund federal agencies for the rest of the fiscal year. According to the Appropriations Committee, the $1.1 trillion bill freezes discretionary spending at the FY 2010 level and provides $46 billion less than the President had requested.
Compared to 2010, the bill cuts funding for programs such as the census, defense base closures and high-speed rail. It puts more money into areas such as nuclear weapons programs, Veterans Administration medical operations, Pell grants and Defense Department pay and health care.
This week the bill moves to the Senate, where Democrats have released a more comprehensive omnibus bill including all of the unfinished bills and some Republicans are considering amendments to shorten the House-passed continuing resolution. The current continuing resolution expires Saturday.
Also last week, House Republicans selected Rep. Harold Rogers of Kentucky to chair the Appropriations Committee during the 112th Congress. Democrats chose Rep. Norm Dicks of Washington as their Ranking Member on the committee.