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News & Press: WIPP Legislative Updates

No Sequestration in Possible Budget Agreement, But Strict Caps Remain

Monday, March 23, 2015  
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Policy Briefing Week of March 16

 

No Sequestration in Possible Budget Agreement, But Strict Caps Remain

The first Budget Resolution in six years may come together this week, and with it another year without sequestration. Both the House and Senate FY16 budget resolutions, under debate this week, would keep spending levels beneath the strict dollar caps passed in 2011. Sequestration -- the across the board cuts to all government programs -- would only take effect if spending were above the caps. 

For non-defense spending, this still means significant cuts to civilian budgets to meet those caps. Congressional Democrats and the White House largely oppose these cuts. Disagreement also remains over how to fund defense spending, where the caps are considered by many Congressional Republicans to be too low. Both the House and Senate offer different accounting methods to increase funding for defense without overshooting the caps.

Budget resolutions, while not laws per se, set the top level spending number for Congress to use in the rest of the budget process. They also allow for tax-related policy to be debated without procedural slowdowns. Republicans hope to use this as an avenue to pass a repeal of the Affordable Care Act or tax reform legislation. The House and Senate hope to complete work on the budget resolutions before leaving Friday for two weeks.   

 


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