Congress, NASA, White House

2011 shutdown threats, 2012 budget planning

Little, if any, progress was made Tuesday to come up with a deal to fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2011, increasing the chances of a federal government shutdown come Friday night. While there’s no sign of a breakthrough that could lead to a deal by the deadline, that deadline could get moved. The House Appropriations Committee has introduced another continuing resolution (CR) which would fund the government for another week, and in addition fund the Defense Department through the rest of the fiscal year. That CR does include $12 billion in budget cuts, including $139 million for NASA: $40 million from its construction account and $99 million from its space operations account, according to the text of the legislation. However, there’s no guarantee that this CR would pass both houses of Congress, and President Obama said Tuesday he was opposed to another short-term CR.

Meanwhile, despite all the focus on the current year spending bill, the House Budget Committee released Tuesday its budget blueprint for FY 2012. The document reiterates earlier proposals to cut federal spending for non-defense discretionary programs, this time to “below 2008 levels”. The document doesn’t go into specifics; despite some lobbying by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and Reps. Sandy Adams (R-FL) and Pete Olson (R-TX) asking Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the budget committee, to prioritize or otherwise protect human spaceflight programs at NASA, the document is silent on the space agency and human spaceflight.

13 comments to 2011 shutdown threats, 2012 budget planning

  • amightywind

    I hope with funding rolled back to 2008 levels that NASA’s human spaceflight policy can be rolled back to that period as well. Obamaspace has not been a proud chapter in NASA’s history.

    As for the 2011 budget agreement, shut her down! It is the only way to extract the required concessions. I got my tax return back, so I don’t need the federal government for another year.

  • pbryan

    How can a country be run like this with Congress never making any decisions or being accountable to deadlines? Absolutely extraordinary!

    Sack every last one of them.

  • pathfinder_01

    amightwind funding would be roled back. Policy would not.

    NASA would simply have less money to spend(which makes commercial look even more attractive).


    More free drift. And so it goes…

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Heard this morning (Oz time) that the WH has called a meeting with whoever heads up the parties in Congress to try to resolve the budget issue. Polls seem split pretty evenly on who’s to blame. Lots of pessimism operating on a government close-down.

  • Googaw

    So how much of NASA actually “shuts down” after Friday night?

  • byeman

    all NASA except mission control for the ISS

  • ILLatSituation

    Nasa is not the only shut down. Soilders fighting on the front line of afganistan will not get paid! So glad amightwind that you don’t need the federal goverment however, tons of americans do. How about stop being so insensitive! This is a huge deal… affecting millions upon millions of lives.

  • Rational Thought

    I think everyone is either confused or misled by their favorite media outlet (in other words, ALL OF THEM). This is not a debate about funding the U.S. Govt for the rest of Fiscal Year 2011. That budget was signed and sealed about a year ago, and the funding was secured well before October 1st 2010.

    This idea that the government could shut down NOW, because they failed to agree on NEXT FISCAL YEAR’S budget is insane. They are playing us as a bunch of fools.

    They are debating the 2012 fiscal year budget, which begins on October 1st, 2011. I grew up in a military family, and my father ran several military bases. They always threw a “fiscal new year” party on September 30th in the Officer’s Club, to spend the little bit of MWR money they had left at the end of the year. The money given to Morale, Welfare and Recreation a few months before October 1st of the previous year!

    The money for this fiscal year has already been alloted. We are suckers if we believe that they are discussing funding a budget approved over a year ago for a fiscal year we are already 6 months into!

  • Rational Thought

    I’m sorry, but I don’t know why we are all so stupid that we don’t understand that the political parties are a duopoly, and they play this divide and conquer game against the people, in order to distract us from the fact that they agreeably share power in order to gain wealth and control over us, and continue to equally serve the real power in our country, the extremely wealthy and the powerful corporations who shelter their profits offshore in order to avoid paying ANY taxes.

    Fiscal year 2011, which we are 6 months into, started on October 1st, 2010, and will end on September 30th, 2011. This budget is funded, the agencies and departments have all received their funds or are already promised them. There’s nothing about the current debate over the 2012 budget that should affect current government funding.

    This whole “government shutdown” theatrics is a game being played against us all. We’re not hearing the full story, because the 2011 budget was hammered out long ago, and the money has been allocated long before this congress took office.

  • Rational Thought

    @ILLatSituation, soldiers are still going to get paid, fed, supplied with ammunition, etc.

    This confusion and panic is part of the tactic. I still can’t figure out how a legislative impasse over NEXT YEAR’S budget can result in there being any funding issues over the current budget, which was worked out and funded well before it began on October 1st, 2010.

    This is a shell game, or we are being lied to.

    Both parties seem to uphold this idea that a budget created last year can suddenly be unfunded due to a disagreement over next year’s budget. They are debating how to divide up the tax revenue they are about to collect on April 15th, in order to fund NEXT YEAR’S budget, and tell us this lie that it could affect how they divided up and distributed the money from April 15th, 2010, which these government agencies theoretically have in hand already.

    We need to stop buying into the idea that two parties control our government, or that this was a founding principle. They are basically a monopoly over our voting rights. They work for the people who can give them the most money, and they use that money to keep us loyal to one party and hating on the other party.

    Oh, and that amitywind dude, he’s part of the problem. His attitude is “I got mines, the rest of you can go f yourselves”. He’s not a smart dude, and he’s probably watching way too much glenn beck and Bill O, and people like that are not going to be part of the solution any more than the people who watch Rachel Maddow. It’s the truly disenfranchised who will finally change this crazy orwellian, upside down world.

  • Jeff Foust

    This is not a debate about funding the U.S. Govt for the rest of Fiscal Year 2011. That budget was signed and sealed about a year ago, and the funding was secured well before October 1st 2010.

    This is incorrect. Since the beginning of the 2011 fiscal year on October 1, 2010, the federal government has been running under a series of stopgap funding bills called continuing resolutions, or CRs, because Congress had not passed appropriations bills for the new fiscal year. The current CR expires at midnight on April 8. There has been no agreement on a final FY11 budget. This can be confusing because, at the same time, we’re also discussing the FY12 budget proposal that the administration released in mid-February. Approval of a final FY12 budget is many months away. Perhaps many, many months away, if FY11 is any guide…


    byeman wrote @ April 7th, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    all NASA except mission control for the ISS

    … and nobody will miss it.

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