The lame-duck Democrats in the House pushed through a $1.1 trillion government funding bill, which keeps their 2010 spending levels intact until September 30, 2011. The Continuing Resolution (CR) squeaked through by a 216-206 vote on Wednesday night.
While the CR prevents a government shutdown, it is also a last-ditch effort by the Democrats to keep their political agenda items funded at high levels for another year.
The CR is necessary this year to keep the government open because the Democrats never passed a budget resolution—for the first time in modern history—nor any of the 12 appropriations spending bills.
The House Republicans strongly opposed the long-term CR because it funds the government at the Democrats’ high levels when they will be in the minority. As part of the “Pledge to America”, Republicans want to cut government spending to the 2008 level, which was before Obama’s stimulus spending bill, ObamaCare and other big government spending. The CR would prevent the Republicans from cutting government spending until the next fiscal year, which starts October 1.
The upside of the CR for fiscal conservatives is that the Democrats were not able to raise spending levels, which they have done in all the past years that they have had control of Congress. The CR keeps discretionary spending levels at the FY2010 levels, which is $45 billion less than President Obama proposed in his budget for FY2011.
Over the past three years, the Democrats have increased government spending by a jaw-dropping 88%, taking out increases for defense, homeland security, and veterans’ affairs. While the Democrats have drastically increased discretionary spending, the country has almost 10% unemployment, the budget deficit is $1.3 trillion and the nation’s debt is now $13.4 trillion.
Next, the CR will go to the Senate for consideration. The Senate Democrats want to attach the CR with an Omnibus Appropriations bill, which would raise government spending even higher for FY2011. Although it is unlikely that the Democrats can get enough votes for passage of a trillion dollar omnibus bill, the eventual spending levels are still in question. The final CR will need to pass the Senate and be signed by the President to prevent a government shutdown this month.