Congress Back for Lame-Duck Session
Congress returned from the Thanksgiving holiday to deal with last minute legislative issues that must be finalized before the lame-duck session ends on December 17th. Issues Congress must finish before adjourning the 111th Congress include finalizing funding for the federal government and the expiring tax cuts. So far the only issue that has been finalized is the Medicare physician fee fix which the President is expected to sign in the next few days.
Congress Puts Together Another CR
Congress will pass another short term Continuing Resolution (CR) this week. The CR will last until December 17th and would maintain funding for federal programs at fiscal year 2010 levels. The current CR ends on December 3rd.
The House is focused on writing a long-term CR to fund the government through next year, while the Senate is currently working on an FY 2011 Omnibus Appropriations bill that would lump together all of the unfinished FY 2011 Appropriations bills into one large bill. Congress has not passed any of the 12 appropriations bills for FY 2011, which began October 1st.
Efforts to pass a long-term CR or an Omnibus Appropriations bill are opposed by Republicans in both the House and Senate as many Republicans are pushing a short-term continuing resolution, which would allow them to pursue their own fiscal priorities — and spending cuts — early next year. Republican House leaders have vowed to roll back spending to fiscal 2008 levels when the GOP takes control next year.
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