Still no budget, still no grant process
Rob Goldberg’s latest budget and appropriations activities update:
The current fiscal year (FY2011) budget remains unfinished — a delay of nearly 6 months and counting. Until the process is completed, the Department of Homeland Security will not commence the next round of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Through the current temporary spending measure that is in place, which expires on March 18, the NSGP program is being funded at $19 million. However, this amount could change as the process remains fluid.
Once the FY2011 appropriations are finalized for FY2011, we expect that the Department of Homeland Security will move within 30 days to implement the state and local grant programs at whatever levels of funding are allocated, including the NSGP program. At this speed, it would be prudent for likely applicants to have the required vulnerability assessments completed ahead of time. Attached is a memo that provides information on the scope of eligible equipment (target hardening improvements and training) permitted as of FY2010, and the critical risk-related information/details that should be incorporated into the risk assessment, for grant drafting and scoring purposes.
The Senate voted yesterday on 2 versions of a year-end funding measure (Continuing Resolution or CR) for FY2011. One, the House-passed Republican proposal (HR 1), would cut nearly $60 billion in spending. The other, a Senate Democratic proposal, would cut less than $5 billion. Both measures were rejected, as expected. The GOP bill failed 44-56 and the Democratic alternative was defeated 42-58. These were intended at test votes to jump start negotiations.
By rejecting the House bill and with difficult negotiations ahead, the House is preparing another short term Continuing Resolution, which will be posted tomorrow. The draft is expected to extend federal government operations for another 3 week period and include $6 billion in discretionary spending cuts. The cuts would add to the $4 billion in cuts already made in the current CR, adding further budget distance between the parties and the chambers.
Earlier this week, the Administration indicated that the President would not support more than one additional short term funding extension, adding the prospect for a government shut down should Congress fail to finalize FY2011 appropriations over the next month. The President supports substantial spending cuts, but is publicly vague on the specifics of the cuts he would support.
Moving forward, Senate Democrats are expected to press for broadening the cuts to include mandatory spending programs, as well as revenue increasing measures. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), has dismissed these strategies.