H.R. 3082 Senate Amendment: Senate Amendments to H.R. 3082—Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2011, and for other purposes

H.R. 3082

Senate Amendments to H.R. 3082—Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2011, and for other purposes

Sponsor
Sen. Bernard Sanders

Date
December 21, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to consider Senate amendments to H.R. 3082 on Tuesday, December 21, 2010.  H.R. 3082 was initially introduced as the FY 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act and approved in the House by a vote of 415-3 on July 10, 2009.  The bill was approved in the Senate on November 17, 2009; however, the bill was not signed by the president because funding for the agencies was ultimately provided through H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010.  H.R. 3082 is now being further amended and used as the vehicle for a Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide discretionary funding for government activities through March 4, 2011.

Bill Summary

The Continuing Resolution (CR) would provide discretionary funding for government operations at FY 2010 levels through March 4, 2011.  According to CBO, non-emergency discretionary funding for FY 2011 would total $1.087 trillion under the CR.  Presently, government operations are being funded at FY 2010 levels under a CR which is set to expire on December 21, 2010.

In addition to providing continued appropriated spending through March 4, 2011, H.R. 3082 would extend the authority to carry out a number of programs.  The bill would also adjust the appropriated spending levels for certain programs.  Specifically, the bill would include the following extensions and changes.

  •  Provide a $5.7 billion bailout for the shortfall in the Pell Grant program.
  • Implement a pay freeze for federal civilian employees (except military personnel) for two years, from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012.
  • Adjust the amount available for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to allow the agency to continue normal operations.
  • Adjust the current rate of operations for the Veterans Benefits Administration to $2.1 billion, an increase of $460 million over the FY 2010 appropriation, to prevent layoffs of claims processors and to support efforts in reducing the processing times of disability claims; 
  • Extend authority for current surface transportation programs to ensure that state governments and local transit agencies will be able to continue their ongoing infrastructure projects.
  • Extend Department of Defense (DoD) authority under the National Defense Authorization Act for programs including counterdrug and counterterrorism activities, military personnel special pay, civilian special pay, intelligence commercial activities, and certain overseas contingency operations.
  • Authorize the Navy to implement its expanded acquisition strategy for Littoral Combat Ships.
  • Provide the DOD with an extension of eligibility to continue Federal Employee Health Benefits for former employees enrolled in Temporary Continuation of Coverage.
  • Provide an additional $36.3 million to the Special Inspector General for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.
  • Extend funding for reduced fee loans for small businesses.
  • Authorize the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make annual fee adjustments.
  • Exempt the FCC's Universal Service Fund (USF) from the Anti-deficiency Act to prevent USF fees from increasing.
  • Provide authority to transfer funds to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to allow for efforts against terrorist attacks.
  • Provide transfer authority to the Coast Guard to address operational challenges, such as military pay.
  • Include a provision related to the National Bio- and Agro- Defense Facility to allow the project to move forward.
  • Make a technical correction to the current CR to allow the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (formerly the Minerals Management Service (MMS)) to utilize all offsetting collections.
  • Authorize the Interior Secretary to start the reorganization of the MMS by establishing budget accounts within the Treasury and authorizing the reassignment of personnel.
  • Ensures that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) obligates the same amount for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) during the CR as it obligated during the same period in FY10.
  • Define the definition of a “highly qualified teacher” establishing standard criteria for schools to use when hiring teachers.
  • Authorize the U.S. Capitol Police to use previously expired funds to pay for the Truck Interdiction Monitoring Program.

Continuing Resolution Funding Compared to FY 2008 by Subcommittee
(In Millions)

 

FY 2008

Continuing Resolution

Increase

Percentage Increase

Agriculture

18,093

23,305

5,212

28.8%

CJS

51,803

56,681

4,878

9.4%

Defense

459,332

508,692

49,360

10.7%

Energy and Water

30,888

33,870

2,982

9.7%

Financial Services

20,599

23,363

2,764

13.4%

Homeland Security

34,852

42,555

7,703

22.1%

Interior

26,555

32,280

5,725

21.6%

Labor-HHS

144,841

169,350

24,509

16.9%

Legislative Branch

3,970

4,654

684

17.2%

Military Construction-VA

60,213

75,649

15,436

25.6%

State-Foreign Operations

32,800

50,774

17,974

54.8%

T-HUD

48,821

66,292

17,471

35.8%

Total

932,767

1,087,465

154,698

16.6%

Background

Last spring, Democrat leaders in the House failed to approve a budget for the upcoming fiscal year for the first time since the passage of the Budget Act of 1974.  Instead of approving a federal budget for FY 2011, Democrats ”deemed” a $1.121 trillion budget enforcement resolution that was never approved by the House.  Similarly, the Democrat-led Congress failed to pass any of the 12 regular annual appropriations bills to provide discretionary funding for the federal government.  As a result of the Democrats’ failure to pass a budget or any appropriations bills, the federal government was funded after the end of the FY 2010 by a Continuing Resolution (CR) which was approved by a vote of 228–194 and expired on Friday, December 3, 2010.  Having again failed to take any action on spending legislation, Democrats approved another CR to extend funding and certain program authority at FY 2010 levels for an additional two weeks, through December 18, 2010.

On December 8, 2010, the House approved amendments to H.R. 3082, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.  The bill would have provided $1.089 trillion in discretionary funding for government operations through September 30, 2011.  The bill would also have adjusted spending levels for the 12 individual funding bills.  Though the House approved the bill by a vote of 212-206, the Senate announced that it would proceed with consideration of an omnibus spending bill rather than the full year CR.  The massive spending bill totaled 1,924 pages, would have spent more than $1.1 trillion ($575 million per page) and included nearly 7,000 earmarks.  Facing public outcry, Democrats in the Senate pulled the omnibus spending bill.  The Senate amendment to H.R. 3082 would provide funding at FY 2010 through March 4, 2011.

Amendments

According to CBO, the CR would provide $1.087 trillion in non-emergency discretionary funding for FY 2011.