USA — President Signs Continuing Resolution Extension

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2011 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma signed leg­is­la­tion last night that will keep the gov­ern­ment fund­ed and run­ning through March 18.
The new con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion cuts $4 bil­lion from the pre­vi­ous con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion fund­ing. None of the $4 bil­lion is tak­en from Defense Depart­ment pro­grams.

Oba­ma said he wants nego­ti­a­tions between the exec­u­tive and leg­isla­tive branch­es to con­tin­ue. He called on Demo­c­ra­t­ic and Repub­li­can lead­ers of Con­gress to begin meet­ing as soon as pos­si­ble with the vice pres­i­dent, the White House chief of staff and the bud­get director. 

“We believe and hope that … an ini­tial meet­ing will take place very soon,” White House Press Sec­re­tary Jay Car­ney said yes­ter­day, adding that there is room for compromise. 

DOD offi­cials have been warn­ing for weeks of the effects a year-long con­tin­u­ing res­o­lu­tion would have on the depart­ment. It would mean a $23 bil­lion short­fall in the fis­cal 2011 defense bud­get, and will pre­clude many con­tract starts. 

The pres­i­dent wants to avoid con­tin­u­ing two-week exten­sions, and wants a long-term deal with Con­gress, Car­ney said. 

“We look for­ward to nego­ti­a­tions on a long-term deal, through the end of the fis­cal year, so that we can do the country’s busi­ness effi­cient­ly and effec­tive­ly; because it is no way to run a busi­ness or a gov­ern­ment to … won­der every two weeks if we’re going to be able to keep in oper­a­tion the fol­low­ing week,” he said. “So the pres­i­dent very much looks for­ward to these nego­ti­a­tions begin­ning to take place towards a long-term deal, and he believes that com­mon ground can be found.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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