This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.
Fiscal Year 2008 Opens with CR
Fiscal year 2008 began on October 1, 2007, but the government is still spending
at fiscal year 2007 levels. That’s because none of the FY 2008 appropriations
bills have made it to the President’s desk for approval. A continuing resolution
will keep the federal government funded and functioning until November 16, 2007.
The House passed the FY 2008 Financial Services and General Government
Appropriations bill in June and the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its
version a month later. By the end of September, the Judiciary’s 2008 funding
measure had yet to make it to the Senate floor for a vote and because of the
limited number of legislative days remaining, it is unlikely to be considered by
the full Senate prior to conference with the House.
The Judiciary is not alone in entering the new fiscal year without
appropriations. Although the House has passed all 12 of its appropriations
bills, the Senate has passed just four. In previous years, to move the process
along, Congress often incorporated all the remaining appropriations bills into
an omnibus bill, voting up or down on the entire package, and sending the bill
to the President for approval. President Bush already has warned that he would
not approve such an omnibus bill if it exceeds his FY 2008 budget request.
This is the first fiscal year the Judiciary has been included in a Financial
Services and General Government appropriations bill. Previously, the federal
courts have been funded in the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban
Development, the Judiciary, and Independent Agencies appropriations bill.