Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Federal Shutdown Looming: Government Efficiency Continues to be Whipping Boy in House Budget Debate 

Bryan Howard
Legislative Director
U.S. Green Building Council

With negotiations between the House and Senate failing to reach a breakthrough over a six-month spending bill for the rest of fiscal year 2011 (FY11), Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) have released a bill that includes a one-week measure that includes $12 billion in cuts. 

Among other provisions, the bill revives a $1.6 billion reduction at the General Services Administration (GSA)’s Federal Building Fund (FBF) based on the previous fiscal year 2010 (FY 10). As I have written before, similar cuts have been passed by the House of Representatives as part of H.R. 1, the Continuing Resolution (CR) of 2011, and would have an incredibly negative effect on private sector employment and sustainability efforts of undertaken by the federal government. 

Although the Senate and the White House have agreed to funding cuts, the inability to reach compromise on the specifics has brought about this one-week stopgap. If agreement cannot be reached on a longer-term bill by the end of the week it remains uncertain whether there will be even enough support in the House of Representatives to pass another short-term CR, which appears to be scheduled for a vote later this week. 

As it stands currently, the prospects of the federal government staying open for another week are looking murky at best.

For a summary of the bill, click here.

For the full text, click here.

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