This afternoon, the President signed a bill extending the FY2011 Continuing Resolution until March 18, 2011, right before Congress begins a one-week recess.  The House passed the measure on Tuesday and the Senate followed quickly this morning.  The new CR cuts an $4 billion from the previous CR funding level:  $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; and $2.7 billion by eliminating almost 50 earmarked programs and projects (none from the Department of Defense).  


The way ahead for finalizing appropriations for FY2011 remains unclear.  Few think that 2 weeks is enough time for the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate to reach final agreement on a bill the president will sign.  So, another CR extension is highly probable, possibly until April 15, when Congress is scheduled to leave town for a two-week recess.