In the waning days of the session, the Senate failed to approve Senate Appropriations Chairman Inouye’s $1.1 trillion “Omnibus Appropriations” bill that included all 12 annual appropriations bills. Likewise, the House-passed long-term continuing resolution (CR) failed in the Senate, which on December 21, 2010, resulted in Congress approving a fourth short-term CR (Pub.L.111-322) to fund through March 4, 2011, the operation of the federal government at Fiscal Year 2010 spending levels.
Starting with the 112th Congress, the House will likely propose sizeable, across-theboard reductions to both the unfinished fiscal year 2011 spending bills and the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills on the order of 10 to 20 percent. In addition to reduced levels of spending, the House has approved a strict rule that prohibits “earmarks” in spending bills and in authorizing legislation. In his State of the Union address, President Obama threatened to veto any spending bill that contains earmarks.