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September 21, 2011

Federal Budget and Disaster Aid Debates Continue

Dear Mayor:

Today in Washington, the House of Representatives will make its latest play in the ongoing game of federal budgetary brinksmanship. We expect the House to pass stopgap spending legislation to get our Nation through the first few weeks of the Fiscal Year that begins on October 1, and to provide FEMA disaster aid funding.

The bill ties $3.6 billion in FEMA disaster aid to 1.5% cuts in discretionary spending programs. These cuts represent a first installment on the level of spending cuts agreed to in the Summer debt ceiling deal. The disaster aid appropriation in the bill is about half the amount already approved by the Senate. The cuts, on the other hand, are not as deep as those included in the House’s original budget proposal.

The House bill includes $1 billion in cuts to “green technology” programs. Those programs are supported by a number of Democrats in both Houses; while the cuts are strongly supported by a number of Republican legislators. Accordingly, they have both symbolic and public policy importance.

No amendments will be allowed to the bill in the House, and debate is limited to one hour. Congress is scheduled to recess at the conclusion of business on Friday. It will not reconvene until October 3 – two days after the Fiscal Year begins.

Negotiations on these issues continue between Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid, between Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senate Minority Leader McConnell, and among Speaker Boehner and members of his own caucus.

We will keep you posted on any further developments. If you have any questions, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or

Very truly yours,


William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director



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