Get the latest updates on the continuing resolution.

In its final act on FY2011 Appropriations, the 111th Congress extended the Continuing Resolution (CR) until March 4, 2011.  The CR (H.R. 3082) essentially continues funding for most programs at the FY2010 level.  However, the total funding rate for the bill is $1.16 billion higher than 2010 level.  The CR does not include as many adjustments to program funding as the 400 plus page FY2011 Continuing Appropriations bill the House passed last week did, but it does identify some “anomalies,” as the Senate press release calls program funding additions and cuts.  The bill adopts the president’s plan to freeze federal pay for 2011 and 2012.  It includes funding to maintain (at the FY2010 fourth quarter level) air marshal coverage levels on flights and the number of border patrol agents on the U.S.-Mexico border, and to accommodate spending for the START treaty.  Some other programs, such as the Census Bureau and DoD’s base closure efforts, receive less because of a lower level of activity expected in FY2011.  For the Department of Defense, the bill extends the authority to March 4, 2011 to execute the Commanders’ Emergency Response Program (CERP) and the deadline for applying for stop loss benefits.  It also provides the Navy with authority to buy 20 Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) so it can implement the Navy’s preferred acquisition strategy.  The 112th Congress, set to convene on January 5, 2011, will take up the task of finishing the appropriations bill as one of its first actions.