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Congress Passes Third FY2012 Continuing Resolution; Funds Government Through December 16

Legislative Update
November 18, 2011

Late last night, the House and Senate passed legislation that keeps the government operating through December 16, averting a shutdown that would have taken place at midnight tonight had Congress not acted. The measure goes to the President, who is expected to sign the bill today.

The Continuing Resolution (CR) was included as part of a ‘mini-bus’ bill that combines the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 appropriations bills for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, State, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, as well the Food and Drug Administration. The House passed the bill by a vote of 298-121, and the Senate by a vote of 70-30.

The bill is an extension of a previous CR, passed by Congress on October 4, which funded government operations through November 18.

The new CR, by simply extending the date of the previous bill, keeps in place a 1.503 percent cut on all agency programs. For the National Eye Institute (NEI), that means a reduction of $10.5 million to a $690.3 million funding level from the FY2011 level of $700.8 million. Added to the $6.2 million reduction in FY2011 funding from FY2010, that means that NEI funding will have been reduced by $16.7 million total during the two fiscal years.