Extension to Budgets, SBIR for Six Weeks Likely

September 21, 2011

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate this week are expected to consider a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that would extend appropriations for the federal government for the first six weeks of the new Fiscal Year, which begins Oct. 1, 2011. At the end of the current legislative week, both chambers are scheduled to recess until Oct. 3, 2011.

The CR also would extend the authorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for six weeks.

Congress must approve a CR by Sept. 30 to avoid a government shutdown, since none of the 12 regular appropriations bills have been approved. The House has passed six appropriations bills, while the Senate only has approved the Military Construction/Veteran’s Affairs appropriations bill.

The legislation would fund the government at a rate proportional to the $1.043 trillion discretionary spending cap for FY 2012 that Congress and the White House hammered out in the Budget Control Act, which translates to a 1.4 percent reduction in spending from FY 2011.

The lone point of contention in the negotiations appears to be the amount of overall disaster relief funding included in the bill. The CR provides $3.65 billion in disaster relief funding to strained state and local governments. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has expressed his desire to allocate more disaster relief funding than requested by the White House. Reid has indicated that he hopes to reach a deal on the issue in the very near term.