A compromise was reached in the current struggle to fund the government for the remainder of 2011 fiscal year in a deal that pleases few. House lawmakers passed the 2011 funding bill by a vote of 260 to 167. While President Obama called the, compromise “…the largest annual spending cut in our history,” conservatives note the $38.5 billion in cuts is far lower than what the Republicans promised coming out of the recent elections and that the reality of the true cuts might be measured more in the hundreds of millions of dollars rather than billions. Progressives are displeased that any cuts were made at all even though they are practically insignificant compared to a budget of nearly $4 trillion.
The news is mixed for the industry as well. The Low Income Home
Budget Deal A Mixed Bag
Energy Assistance Program receives $4.71 billion in funding which is $390 million less than FY 10. However, it maintains the base formula grant to states at last year’s level of $4.51 billion.
One issue of concern was cuts to funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The industry won a significant victory in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010. Relentless pressure from the financial and investment community has stalled the necessary rulemaking process to make the goals of the law a reality. Cuts in funding would hamper the CFTC in its mission and endanger the success of the law. The current budget actually increases funding by $34 million.This reflects, in part, the hard work of the New England Fuel Institute and the Petroleum marketers Association of America and their members. Similar struggles are expected in the upcoming budget debates for 2012 not only for these programs, but biofuel subsidies as well and virtually anything that receives a federal dollar.