Capitol to Capitol
An Information Service of NCSL's Standing Committees

Volume 18   Issue 4 - February 14, 2011



 With the current continuing resolution expiring March 4, the House earlier this week adopted spending allocations that would cut non-security discretionary spending by $41 billion from current levels. House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (KY), however,  announced plans to cut up to $100 billion more, a figure closer to the Republican Study Committee proposal released several weeks ago. This measure will be considered under an open rule in the House next week, with amendments for more cuts likely to be debated. Meanwhile, Chairman Rogers this week released a list of domestic spending cuts expected to be included when the House votes on its FY 2011 appropriation changes. Totaling $23.4 billion, the 70 cuts include state-federal programs such as state and local law enforcement assistance ($256 million), low-income energy assistance programs (LIHEAP) ($400 million), clean water state revolving fund ($700 million), drinking water state revolving fund ($250 million), job training programs ($2 billion), high-speed rail ($1 billion) and the Housing and Urban Development Agency’s Community Development Fund ($530 million). A complete list of all proposed spending cuts is available here: (NCSL staff contact: Michael Bird, Jeff Hurley (appropriations), Susan Frederick, Jennifer Arguinzoni  (law enforcement), Tamra Spielvogel, Max Behlke (Energy), Molly Ramsdell, Helen Narvasa (transportation), Diana Hinton, Michael Reed (housing))


On Monday, Feb. 14, the president will release his long-awaited FY 2012 budget. While the president announced a five-year, non-security discretionary spending freeze in his State of the Union address, several other components have been mentioned as well. Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew has cited several specific cuts to state-federal programs such as the Community Service Block Grant program ($350 million) and the Community Development Block Grant program ($300 million). Reports also indicate that the president’s budget will include a proposal to waive state interest payments on unpaid unemployment benefits for two years, and increase the limit on employer unemployment contributions from $7,000 to $15,000 starting in 2014 to help states replenish their unemployment accounts. Other proposals include a six-year, $53 billion plan for high-speed rail investment, incentives for retrofitting buildings to decrease energy use, the creation of a National Infrastructure bank and reauthorization of the Build America Bonds program. NCSL will provide a comprehensive review of the president’s budget on the its website on Monday. Stay tuned. (NCSL staff contact: Michael Bird, Jeff Hurley (budget), Diane Hinton, Michael Reed (unemployment insurance), Tamra Spielvogel, Max Behlke (energy), Molly Ramsdell, Helen Narvasa (transportation))


Along with the release of the president’s budget, next week  includes  two hearings of consequence for states. The House Judiciary Committee will look at state and local government bankruptcy on Valentines’ Day and on Feb. 15  discuss the reauthorization of the Adam Walsh Act. And, take note, NCSL’s Spring Forum in Washington, D.C., in April is a mere two months away.  Information on the meeting is available here:,122.