This week, the Senate approved the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 by a 64-36 vote and President Obama is expected to sign this legislation into law. The next step in this process is the House and Senate Appropriators must begin the challenging job of allocating funding to the federal agencies for the remainder of fiscal year 2014 before funding runs out on Jan. 15, 2014. Since the budget agreement only rolls back a portion of sequestration, it is expected that there will be winners and losers. This means that some agencies and programs may receive increased funding whereas others may lose funding.
To learn more about the Bipartisan Budget Act click here to read an article written by Sam Stein from the Huffington Post, which explains the complex and delicate forthcoming budget negotiations.
Also, AADR urges you to TAKE ACTION today by sending an email to your Member of Congress and urge him/her to increase funding for NIH and NIDCR.
Last night, the House of Representatives approved the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 by a 332-94 vote, demonstrating strong bipartisan support for the bill. This compromise was brokered by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Chairwoman Patty Murray D-Wash. The Bipartisan Budget Act proposes to set the overall discretionary spending for the current fiscal year at $1.012 trillion and $1.014 trillion for fiscal year 2015 and provide some relief from sequestration. This legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration. If this legislation is signed into law then the Chairmen of the Appropriations Committees will establish funding levels for the individual appropriations bills including Labor-HHS-Education. Specifically the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 includes the following:
- Provides $63 billion in sequester relief over two years, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs. This means that the cap or overall amount of funding available for non-defense discretionary spending will be raised approximately $22 billion above the fiscal year 2013 post sequestration level. This “increase” in funding would then have to be spread among all of the appropriations bills except defense, which means it will be challenging for agencies and programs to restore all of the cuts administered by the 2013 sequestration order.
- Viewed a different way, this legislation cuts non-defense discretionary funding by $14.2 billion in fiscal year 2014 from the fiscal year 2013 pre sequestration levels. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities this means that 57% of the non-defense discretionary cuts remain in place over two years.
- Maintains cuts to non-exempt mandatory programs, like the Prevention and Public Health Fund and Medicare.
AADR sent a letter to members of Congress indicating our support for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and noted that while the legislation is far from perfect it is an important step in the right direction by providing some relief and stability to discretionary programs affected by sequestration and the government shutdown. AADR will continue to work with our partners urging Congress to undo sequestration in total and replace it with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.
It is expected that the Senate will vote on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 soon. If this deal is approved, Congress will then have to draft and vote on legislation after the holidays to keep the government open after Jan. 15, 2014.