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Congress Shouldn’t Play Politics With the Debt Ceiling

October 20, 2015

The House will vote soon on a Republican proposal allowing the Treasury to borrow funds to pay bondholders and Social Security recipients if there's a prolonged standoff over raising the debt ceiling. This approach is extremely dangerous. 

Dollar Bill

Drop the Pentagon Funding Gimmick and Move to Sequester Negotiations

June 9, 2015

Congressional Republicans are proceeding to implement a gimmick in their 2016 budget resolution that allows defense programs to evade the 2011 Budget Control Act’s (BCA) tight limits on appropriations, as lowered by sequestration. 

The Senate is considering this week its version of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which embraces the gimmick,...

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Obama, Ryan Miles Apart on Non-Defense Discretionary Funding

April 8, 2014

One especially stark difference between the recent budgets from President Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is in non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding, the budget category that includes key investments in the economy, such as education and basic research; support for low-income families, such as Head Start and housing assistance; and essential services that Americans...

President’s Budget to Propose Building on Murray-Ryan Agreement

February 20, 2014

The White House announced today that it will recommend $56 billion in additional discretionary funding for 2015 above the level contained in the budget deal that Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray and House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan negotiated in December.  The additional funding, which would be evenly split between defense and non-defense, would be fully offset by cuts in...

House Changes to Military Pensions Would Violate Key Principle of Recent Budget Deal

February 12, 2014

The House voted yesterday to undo the military pension savings in December’s Murray-Ryan budget deal and offset the cost by extending the sequestration budget cuts for mandatory programs by one year, from 2023 to 2024.   That was a mistake.  The bill upends a key feature of the agreement, which Congress adopted with a large, bipartisan...

Higher Deficits in New CBO Forecast Don’t Reflect Higher Spending

February 4, 2014

The new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) budget estimates are more pessimistic than those it released last May, showing deficits that are $1 trillion higher over 2014 through 2023.  This worsening budget outlook reflects lower revenues, not higher spending.  In fact, CBO now projects lower spending over the decade than it did last year. ...

Murray-Ryan Deal Will Only Temporarily Halt Non-Defense Funding Slide

December 18, 2013

Update, February 14th, 2014: We've updated this post to reflect new Congressional Budget Office estimates.

The Murray-Ryan budget deal is a step in the right direction, but it provides only a temporary respite from the cuts in non-defense discretionary programs that sequestration requires. ...

Replacing Sequestration With Equivalent Ten-Year Savings Makes Sense

November 20, 2013

Congressional budget negotiators are looking to replace some or all of the “sequestration” budget cuts for 2014 and perhaps 2015 with changes in mandatory programs, fees, or revenues that reduce program costs or raise fees and revenues over the next ten years.  There are good reasons to do so on a one-to-one basis — substituting every $1 of repealed sequestration cuts with $1 of ten-year...

House GOP Proposal Would Cut Non-Defense Well Below Sequestration Level

September 17, 2013

Dozens of House Republicans led by Georgia’s Tom Graves recently introduced a continuing resolution to fund the government in fiscal year 2014 at $967.5 billion.  That total matches the combined defense and non-defense caps for discretionary funding next year under the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) if sequestration remains in place.  But, the bill would provide about $44 billion more...

Defense Funding Gimmick: One Part of a Larger Problem

July 23, 2013

The House is scheduled today to consider the 2014 defense appropriations bill, which is at the heart of the House’s misguided approach to addressing the inadequate funding for discretionary programs when the “sequestration” cuts are added to the 2011 Budget Control Act’s (BCA) already austere funding caps.

By itself, the bill exceeds the $498 billion defense cap (after sequestration)...