Today the House was expected to begin debating a continuing resolution (CR) to fund federal agencies for the remainder of the fiscal year. Most federal agencies are currently being funded at 2010 levels under a CR that expires March 4.
The new CR proposed by House Republicans includes $1.029 trillion in regular discretionary spending -- about $100 billion below the President's request for Fiscal Year 2011 and $61 billion below the 2010 level. Some Republicans argued that an earlier version did not comply with a pledge to cut $100 billion during the first year.
Increased scrutiny of appropriations is a positive development. However, the bill's large cuts from 2010 levels for several programs still only save the equivalent of four percent of this year's projected $1.5 trillion deficit. This is the problem with a deficit-reduction strategy that relies primarily on discretionary spending. To achieve a sustainable fiscal policy, revenues and mandatory spending must also be on the table.External links:House Appropriations Committee Press Release and Summaries of CRProgram Cuts Included in CRLegislative Text of CRStatement by House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Norm DicksStatement by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Inouye