Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) for FY2012 that would fund government agencies through November 18, 2011.  The HAC-proposed CR (H.J.Res 79) would provide total funding for government agencies between October 1 and November 18 at a rate of $1.043 trillion, the amount for FY2012 set in the FY2012 Budget and Control Act of 2011.

The CR would also provide $3.65 billion in disaster relief assistance to victims of Hurricane Irene, recent wildfires, floods and tornadoes, the Mid-Atlantic earthquake, and other natural disasters.  The bill would make $1 billion immediately available when the bill is signed and another $2.65 billion for recovery into next year.  Additional disaster assistance will be addressed during the FY2012 appropriations process, according to the committee.

HAC chairman Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) said the CR “will allow time for Congress to pass annual appropriations legislation, while maintaining vital government programs and services in the short term.”  Rogers said he intends to complete House action on the 12 appropriations bills.  To date the House has passed six bills (Agriculture, Defense, Energy & Water, Homeland Security, Legislative, and Military Construction/Veterans Affairs).

The Senate has passed only one FY2012 appropriations bill (Military Construction/Veterans Affairs), but another three bills (Agriculture, Energy & Water, and Homeland Security) are ready for Senate floor action.  This week the Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) plans to complete action on four more bills (Defense, Commerce/Justice/Science, Financial Services, and Legislative).

Both Rogers and SAC chair Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) have expressed a desire to avoid the disruption caused by extended CRs for FY2011.  Last year, the first of seven CRs extended government funding until December 3rd.  The final FY2011 Appropriations Act wasn’t signed by the president until April 15, 2011, when FY2011 was over half finished.