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With the Omnibus process looking all but hopeless, a series of Continuing Resolutions seems likely

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photo of Seantor Harry Reid who failed to find the votes to close debate on the 2011 federal spending bill. A serioes of Continuing Resolutions (CR's) are expedted to keep the federal government limping along through FY2011.

Senator Harry Reid fails to find the votes to close debate on the 2011 federal spending bill. A series of Continuing Resolutions (CR's) are expected to keep the federal government limping along through FY2011.

Senator Inouye’s Omnibus spending bill failed last week, leaving Congress to pass a short Continuing Resolution that runs through today.  With the likely outcome of today’s negotiations resulting in yet another CR for FY2011 extending the federal budget for but just a few more months, the mayhem that having an uncertain federal budget for FY2011 causes in the agencies will continue, with major inefficiencies and little work being accomplished by federal agencies this year as a result.

Chairman Inouye’s statement on the failure of the omnibus spending bill, due to a threat by Republicans to filibuster the bill and a failure of Senator Harry Reid to secure 60 votes for cloture, is a worthwhile read.

Federal environmental agencies, once optimistic due to pro-environment statements by both the Administration and the Hill, now must question how they will operate with a reduced, and potentially significantly reduced, budget in the future.

With the CR that would extend FY2010 levels through March likely to pass today, much work will need to be done to determine what, if any, progress in improving our nation’s environment will be practical or possible in 2011.

The author is a scientist by training and the owner of W.H. Nuckols Consulting, an environmental policy firm.  
A bio for Mr. Nuckols is located at www.WilliamHNuckols.com

Written by Will Nuckols

December 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm

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