Rob Goldberg of the Washington Office of JFNA explains:
As many of you know, the President published his budget recommendations for the fiscal year 2012 budget cycle, which begins October 1st. With this measure, Congress commences its consideration of the budget and appropriations processes for the session. Meanwhile, Congress has not yet completed work on the current FY2011 appropriations, leaving the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in limbo (along with many other federally funded programs).
Consequently, the federal government, since October 1, 2010, has been operating under temporary spending measures called Continuing Resolutions (CRs). The current CR expires on March 4th. Ahead of this deadline, Republican leaders of the House of Representatives have drafted a long-term CR that they will bring to the floor for consideration this week. The CR would fund the federal government for the remaining 7 months of the fiscal year at nearly $60 billion below actual FY2010 spending levels and at $100 billion below the President’s budget request for FY2011. The draft CR, in conjunction with an earlier CR that expired in December 2010, would fund the Nonprofit Security Program at $19 million. This is the same amount we were able to secure for the program in FY2010, and $5 million above the FY2009 funding level.
The draft CR is expected to pass the House when it comes to a vote. However, it is also believed that the measure will receive stiff opposition from the Democratic majority when it reaches the Senate body. In the event that the Senate passes a widely disparate version of the CR that cannot be easily reconciled with the House body, or the Senate simply fails to pass the CR at all, Congress will face a significant dilemma. It will have to agree to pass an additional short term CR that would provide more time for a consensus measure to be reached between the chambers, or it will face the possibility of allowing for a government shut down when the current CR expires on March 4th. Often under such time pressures, Congress finds the comity necessary to achieve workable solutions. In this case, the FY2011 funding impasse presents an early and potentially devastating challenge for the newly divided Congress to overcome.
So, the fate of the NSGP allocation for FY2011 remains tide to the overall resolution of the outstanding appropriations process for FY2011, under conditions where a showdown in Congress is expected in a matter of days. We will continue to work to ensure that the NSGP allocation remains in tact, in accordance with our significant efforts to protect federal social services funding streams of critical importance to the Federation movement.