Friday, April 24, 2009

LAW E-Alert: Congress Moves to Pass Budget Resolution

April 24, 2009—It now appears that Congress and the Administration have reached a tentative agreement on the parameters for a final budget resolution for FY2010. According to press accounts, the budget resolution will include budget reconciliation language that will pave the way for converting the Pell Grant program into a mandatory (entitlement) program. The reconciliation process would allow Congress to move legislation without a threat of a Senate filibuster and would only require 51 votes to pass in the Senate.

ACCT has come out in support of the Administration’s proposal on converting Pell. ACCT’s letter can be found at:

Earlier this week, the Senate announced its conferees for the Budget Conference Committee: Budget Committee Chair Kent Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Budget Committee Ranking Member Judd Gregg (R-NH). The House also announced its conference members: House Budget Committee chairman John Spratt (D-SC), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). The announcement of the conferees is an indication that a tentative agreement has been reached.

The conference committee will likely meet next week and finalize a budget resolution quickly. The Administration has indicated that they would like to have the budget resolution passed by the end of President Obama's first 100 days. The budget resolution does not require the President’s signature. The resolution is vital in shaping the appropriations process for the given fiscal year.

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