Late Friday evening, the White House and Congress finally reached a compromise to fund the government for the remainder of FY11. As the clock ticked down towards midnight, when a shutdown of the government would have gone into place, negotiators agreed upon a package of approximately $38 billion in cuts to the FY11 budget, the largest spending cut in history.
The deal that was reached saw the enactment of a continuing resolution through Friday April 15, which will give legislators time draft and post the final bill, as per rules enacted by the House of Representatives requiring bills be made public 72 hours prior to any vote. Voting is expected to take place on Wednesday.
Few details have emerged as to the levels that will be slashed from individual programs, though it is expected that individual agencies will each be facing cuts of around $1.1 billion. In remarks on the compromise, President Obama gave indications that science agencies would be among those spared, stating that “beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those investments that will help America compete for new jobs — investments in our kids’ education and student loans; in clean energy and life-saving medical research.” He emphasized that “we protected the investments we need to win the future.”