President Obama signed a two-week Continuing Resolution on March 2 funding Federal government operations until March 18. H. J. Res. 44, which was passed by the House March 1 and the Senate March 2, will continue funding EPA at current levels for now; in addition, the bill did not include restrictions on EPA spending on climate rules, Chesapeake Bay or other programs that House Republicans have proposed in H.R. 1.
House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders will now have to negotiate the parameters of a spending bill to cover the government for the remainder of the FY2011 or face another shut-down when this new CR expires on March 18. Vice President Joe Biden will oversee negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats and Republicans on a longer-term spending bill, with meetings to begin immediately.