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October 2007

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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.