Stiff Cuts to E-Government in Compromise CR
by Gavin Baker, 4/12/2011
The details of the compromise continuing resolution (CR) agreed to late last Friday, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown, have been released. While more analysis is forthcoming, at this point we can say that the CR doesn't look good for e-government.
The initial House-passed CR, H.R. 1, slashed the General Services Administration's Electronic Government Fund from $34 million to $2 million. Those cuts could have been devastating: the Office of Management and Budget was reportedly preparing to shutter transparency projects such as USAspending.gov if that funding level had become law.
After public outcry, a revised House CR would have appropriated $17 million for the fund – still a steep cut, but less drastic. But debate over other provisions of the bill made it dead on arrival, pushing Congress and the White House into last-minute negotiations.
A deal was announced last Friday, with a vote scheduled for this week, but the specific provisions of the bill were not released until Monday night. Under the new CR, H.R. 1473, the fund will be cut to $8 million – not as devastating as the original number, but less than half than the level proposed by the House last week. It's unclear which transparency projects would survive under the newest CR, which appears likely to become law.