March 21, 2011

Obama signs extension to fund federal operations

On Friday, President Barack Obama signed H.J. Res. 48, a continuing resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 appropriations to fund federal government operations for another three weeks through Friday, April 8. 

The resolution cuts another $6 billion in federal spending from FY 2010 enacted levels. Among the $6 billion in reductions is the elimination of funding for FY 2011 for the Federal Railroad Administration program that provides grant money for railroad operators to implement Positive Train Control.

Congress authorized $50 million for this program in fiscal year 2011 in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, and funds have been appropriated at that level for the past two years. However, since the Administration failed to request funds for this program in the President's budget request for FY 2011, it was an easy target for reduction, according to APTA. No other transportation programs were targeted in the measure.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 87-13 and, in the House, the measure passed by a vote of 271-158 with 54 Republicans voting against the bill.

This CR is the sixth such short-term spending resolution enacted for FY 2011.

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