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Tight Funding Caps Leave Too Little for Biodefense

September 30, 2015

The pending House and Senate 2016 appropriations bills fall far short of what the Administration says it needs for two programs funding the development and production of drugs, vaccines, and other items to respond to biological, chemical, or nuclear terrorism.  That’s due to tight annual caps on appropriations spending under the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) and the sequestration cuts that...

E Pluribis Unum Budget - high res

House Bill Slices Billions From Education and Health

June 19, 2015

The cuts reflect the Republican majority's decision to make this bill one of its lowest priorities when allocating funding among the 12 annual appropriations bills even though it covers vital areas such as education, public health, and medical research.

Children in Classroom

House Bill Would Circumvent Budget Cap for Defense

May 14, 2015

As the House considers the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act this week, it’s taking the next step to circumvent the 2011 Budget Control Act’s (BCA) cap on defense appropriations, while leaving the non-defense cap fully in place.  To do this, it authorizes the use of “overseas contingency operations” (OCO) funds — which are meant for overseas military operations and fall outside the caps...

House Funding Allocations Highlight Squeeze on Domestic Programs

April 24, 2015

The bills funding the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as the IRS and other core government functions, next year would face the biggest cuts under the House Appropriations Committee allocation of its 2016 funds among the 12 annual appropriations bills.

These allocations, which the committee approved this week, reflect the tight annual caps on...

Budget - Penny Pie Chart

House, Senate Budgets Have Big Cuts in Transportation Infrastructure

March 27, 2015

Now that the House and Senate have both passed their budget plans, here’s one more problem with them: they’d cut highway construction and other transportation infrastructure funding over the next decade by 28 percent and 22 percent, respectively, below the cost of maintaining current funding levels.  Although the plans cite the Highway Trust Fund shortfall to justify these cuts, cutting...


House, Senate Budget Resolutions Have No Plan to Fix Sequestration

March 24, 2015

A major budget issue for fiscal year 2016 is whether policymakers will replace the “sequestration” budget cuts that are tightly constraining non-entitlement programs.  Rather than provide a clear plan to do so, however, the budget resolutions that will come to the House and Senate floors this week offer only aspirational...

Don’t Be Fooled by Small “Reconciliation” Savings Targets in House Budget Committee Plan

March 19, 2015

The House Budget Committee-approved budget plan instructs various committees to prepare bills that would cut programs by specified amounts; Congress would then consider these bills under a fast-track process called “reconciliation.”  The specified savings, ranging...

Obama Spending Proposal Makes Sense for Short and Long Run

January 30, 2015

Update, February 2, 2015: We’ve updated this post to reflect the President’s sequestration replacement proposal that the Administration made public today with the release of his fiscal year 2016 budget.

The President’s proposal, in his upcoming fiscal year 2016 budget, to provide partial relief from the Budget Control Act’s (BCA) “sequestration” cuts for 2016 and...

Social Security’s Backlog Rooted in Underfunding, Not Incompetence

October 30, 2014

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggests the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) large backlog of uncompleted continuing disability reviews reflects government incompetence.  Actually, the backlog in these reviews, which determine whether recipients of disability benefits through Social Security or Supplemental...