In Washington, in an election year, everything stops on October 1 with the end of the fiscal year. This year is no different and Congress is planning on approving a continuing resolution (known around town as a CR) to keep government programs chugging along until the elections are decided – then they will return to pass a giant funding bill that has many programs and agencies budgets rolled into it.
Sen. Dick Durban (D-Ill.) told E&E that a CR is the best we can hope for in the current atmosphere, “There is no evidence of any bipartisan spirit to deal with the bigger issues,” he said. “We are hoping to get a continuing resolution passed. That’s it. To continue the government until we return after the election.”
The House too plans to wrap up all their work by the end of the fiscal year which is this Friday. Of the CR, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told E&E, “That’s what we are putting together now and when we have that, we can make a decision as to when we go home.”
So, what does this mean for 2011 funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative? The CR should fund programs at FY2010 levels, according to HOW’s Chad Lord, “A House committee already recommended funding the GLRI at the president’s request of $300 million,” Lord added, “Given the tremendous need and economic opportunities for success, Congress must not go any lower.”