The Government is Funded...until March 4th
On Tuesday the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) keeping the federal government funded until March 4; the House is expected to pass it later in the day. This bill maintains discretionary funding for FY2011 at FY 2010 levels until March 4th--setting up yet another budget fight in a few short months. The total cost of the bill is $250 billion.
With government funding ending at midnight tonight, this CR was vital, but underscores how absurd the current budget process is. Through nearly half of the fiscal year, Congress has passed no appropriations bills and the government will continue to be funded at last year's levels. Clearly, the process needs some long-due reform. The Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform gives policymakers a series of sound reform options in its recent report, Getting Back in the Black. The current process once again has failed lawmakers and the American public and is inadequate to most effectively enable lawmakers to tackle our long-term budget challenges.