House Appropriations Committee (HAC) chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) announced today that his committee has prepared a two-week extension of the FY2011 Continuing Resolution (CR) that will expire next Friday March 5.  Rogers said that he had hoped that the Senate would act on the year-long FY2011 CR passed by the House last week, but in the absence of such action, “it is clear that more time is needed” to reach a final agreement and prevent a government shut down.  The HAC proposal extends the CR until March 18 and cuts the FY2011 CR funding level by an additional $4 billion.  According to the announcement, the new CR is expected to go to the House floor on Tuesday, March 1.


The CR would cut $1.2 billion by terminating 8 nondefense programs for which no funds were requested or were recommended for termination in the president’s FY2012 budget, including $650 million for additional Federal Highways Administration’s general fund spending. 


Another $2.7 billion in cuts would come from eliminating almost 50 earmarked programs and projects (none from the Department of Defense) that were made available in FY2010.  Almost 60 percent of this funding reduction would come from cutting:  $397 million from Health Resources and Services programs; $292 million for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); $293 million from Surface Transportation priorities; $229 million from Department of Education’s (DOE) Innovation and Improvement programs; $173 million for the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Economic Development Initiative; $129 million from Higher Education programs; and $103 million from Federal Emergency and Management Agency’s (FEMA) university and emergency operations center grants.


Senate Democratic leaders have been talking about a month-long extension of the CR, without any additional cuts, but have not yet released their proposal.  Both House and Senate leaders have stated they want to avoid a government shut down.  But, with the House demanding additional reductions in any CR extension and the Senate adamantly opposed, the stare down continues, while the clock keeps on ticking.