Status of FY11 Budget Negotiations

Posted by ServeNext Staff on April 5, 2011

With a potential government shutdown at the end of this week, President Obama has been meeting with Congressional leaders at the White House to encourage them to approve a budget for the next fiscal year.  Signaling that House Republicans don’t think a deal will be reached in time,  a draft bill is being prepared by the House Appropriations Committee that would fund the government for another week after April 8th.

Speaker Boehner at a press conference last week.

The stopgap proposal includes $12 billion in immediate spending cuts and enough money to keep the Pentagon operating through September.  The proposed C.R. has attracted support from Tea Party backed members of Congress who are pushing for more cuts. It also puts pressure on Democrats to approve further cuts.

Although this proposal would keep the government operating, the White House believes that any continuing resolution would have negative effects on the economy and is counterproductive because there is already a plan on the table for the entire fiscal year. The White House wants Congress to reach an agreement by Friday in order to avoid a shutdown. According to MSNBC, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters, “We believe a deal is possible.” Despite this, there is not much bipartisanship in Congress right now. Democrats are accusing Republicans of pressing harmful spending cuts and pushing a social policy agenda while Boehner has stated that he believes that Democrats are pressing for budget cuts that are “full of smoke and mirrors”.

Last week, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees began working toward a bill that would cut spending by $33 billion. Today in a White House Meeting, Boehner expressed that he would like to see a total of $40 billion in spending cuts, an additional $7 billion above the current target. POLITICO reports that Democrats are frustrated and feel that Boehner is “moving the goalposts” as a result of pressure from the Tea Party.

As the week continues, it is important to stay informed of the current budget situation and the implications for important programs such as national service.


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