Congress Votes Through Continuing Resolution, Stalls on OMB Nomination, and Leaves for the Election

It can't get much closer than this. In the early hours of the last day of fiscal year 2010, and the last legislative day before it adjourned for the midterm elections, Congress passed a basic continuing resolution, temporarily funding the government through December 3. That gives lawmakers from November 15, when they're scheduled to return, though December 3 to pass the entire FY 2011 budget. If they fail, which is entirely likely considering it only gives them three weeks to work, Congress will have to pass another continuing resolution.

You can find the text of the resolution, which essentially funds the government at the FY 2010 level minus a good chunk of Census funds, here, and the New York Times has a short write up of it here.

Unfortunately, before adjourning, the Senate did not act on Jack Lew's nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget, as Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) hold on his nomination is still in effect. And since the Senate agreed to conduct "pro-forma" sessions for the next few weeks, President Obama will not be able to install Lew as a recess appointment. In other words, Lew will not be confirmed until mid-November at the earliest, assuming Landrieu drops her hold. A worst case scenario could see Landrieu maintaining her hold through the end of the current Congress, meaning that the budget, which Obama must submit by early February, will have to be overseen by Jeffrey Zients, the current acting OMB director. And, no offense to Zients, that's not a good thing. As it is, with the Senate gone, it looks like Lew will have very little effect on the FY 2011 budget.

Image by Flickr user Robert Bruce Murray III used under a Creative Commons license.

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