FY 2013 Budget
The field has been narrowed from 68 to 64 teams, and the NCAA Tournament is ready to kick off in full this afternoon. But the Big Dance isn't the only March madness going on right now. In Congress, both chambers are set to take a number of budget-related votes in the hours and days ahead.
Update: The Senate Appropriations Committee has released its companion CR/appropriations bill package with total funding at the same level as the House bill. In addition to defense, military construction, and veterans' affairs, the Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture, and Homeland Security will also get appropriations bills in the Senate package.
Today, October 1, marks the first day of FY 2013, with FY 2012 now in the history books. Over the past year we have seen some setbacks, like the failure of the Super Committee, but also an outpouring of support from business leaders, former politicians and officials, and ordinary Americans that gives us hope for FY 2013. Let's take a look back at the numbers for the past fiscal year:
Late last week, the Senate passed a continuing resolution (CR) by a 62-30 vote to keep the government funded for the next six months with only a week to spare before the start of the fiscal year. The government will be funded at a $1.047 trillion annual rate through March 27 of next year, representing a 0.6 percent increase for each of the 12 appropriations bills over last year.
For all you can say about the budget process in recent years, at least this time Congress is on track to resolve spending levels ahead of a deadline -- not the April 15 budget resolution deadline, but the absolute minimum September 30 deadline.
The OMB has released its Mid-Session Review (MSR), essentially a re-estimate of the President's budget taking into new legislative, economic, and technical factors since February. We also put out a paper breaking down the MSR.
According to POLITICO's Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, lawmakers are nearing a deal that would fund the government for the first six months of FY 2013 (through the end of March). That deal would set the level of discretionary spending at the level specified in the Budget Control Act, $1.047 trillion, in a continuing resolution. Apparently, neither side wants to alter last year's deal until after the election.
Since our last Appropriations Update last month, there has not been much action on appropriations bills. On the House side, the full House has passed the Transportation-House and Urban Development bill, the Appropriations Committee has passed the Interior-Environment bill, and the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education bill has been released and is the final bill to make its way through the process.
Although a bit under the radar, the appropriations process in both the House and Senate is moving forward in a relatively timely manner (OK, maybe the standards are low). Of course, as with the past few years, disputes between the two chambers on a few issues are likely to make the process another grind-it-out affair with solutions only coming at the eleventh hour.