A newly enacted, short-term spending measure will give federal agencies enough money to keep operating through April 8. But the stopgap, which President Obama signed on March 18, also contains $6 billion in spending cuts, with the General Services Administration's construction program taking a big hit.

The new continuing resolution cuts GSA's entire $894 million 2011 allocation for its "construction and acquisition of facilities."

The measure also pares GSA's repairs and alterations program by $130 million, leaving  the agency with $284 million for that category.

Robert Peck, commissioner of GSA's Public Buildings Service, told ENR in a March 16 interview that the new stopgap's cuts would affect all of the individual line-item projects for which the agency requested funding in 2011.

Those line-items amount to about $650 million in new design and construction projects and $320 million in major renovation projects.

Peck said some of the affected 2011 projects could be delayed to 2012. Funding those projects in 2012 of course would require congressional approval.

Peck also said that the legislation would prompt GSA to take another look at the projects contained in its budget proposal for fiscal 2012, which was sent to Congress just last month.

Peck was speaking after the bill had been approved by the House, but before it was enacted.

The GSA cuts are part of $2.6 billion in earmarks sliced under the bill.

Under Democratic and Republican administrations and Congresses, GSA's budgets and appropriations for construction and major renovation have for decades included specific amounts for individual federal buildings around the country.

Some of those line-items were requested by the administrations in office at the time;  other projects were added by individual lawmakers--from both major parties--during annual appropriations deliberations.