Unable to reach a deal on the federal budget for the new fiscal year beginning on October 1, 2011, the U.S. Senate passed a temporary funding measure that will fund government operations through November 18, 2011.
Passing the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012, avoids a threatened government shutdown and provides FEMA disaster relief funding. FEMA warned that failure to pass the resolution would lead to funds being depleted by the end of the week for disasters related to floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires this year. The bill provides for $2.65 billion in disaster aid.
The House still has to approve the measure which includes two options, approve this measure, or a shorter measure that would fund government for one week through October 4th which would provide additional time to debate the longer temporary funding measure.
As Congress continues to debate a full budget package for Fiscal Year 2012, funding for housing counseling programs remains in limbo. The Senate appropriations bill includes funding for housing counseling, however, the opposing House bill did not. Resolving this difference is a small piece of a much larger budget debate that could extend for some time, as happened with the current expiring budget.