FY 2011 Appropriations Update: Congress Off to a Slow Start
The fiscal year (FY) 2011 appropriations process has gotten off to a slow start. The full Senate was unable to adopt a budget resolution, the non-binding document that establishes the framework for considering revenue, spending, and other budget-related legislation. The House passed a budget resolution, but it set discretionary funding levels for FY 2011 only, rather than the customary five or six-year period. Consideration of the individual appropriations bills became a priority In July, when both appropriation committees approved their subcommittee allocations, referred to as 302(b)s.
When Congress returns from its annual August recess on September 13, 2010, it will have just a few weeks to complete the FY 2011 appropriations process before adjourning for the November elections. As shown on Table 1, only two bills have passed the House of Representatives. This is in stark contrast to last year, when the House had passed all of its bills by this time. The full Senate has not taken up any appropriations bills, but nine have passed at the committee level.
Table 2 lists current funding levels for major grant programs based on the most recent House and Senate actions and, for comparison purposes, includes information on the FY 2010 enacted level and the president’s FY 2011 proposals.
This Budget Brief describes major FY 2011 appropriations actions to date, especially in areas where major policy or funding changes have been proposed. It does not include information on bills that have only passed the subcommittee level because legislative text is not yet available.