Congress Passes CR Recesses for Election; Administration Releases Sequestration Estimates
COSSA Washington Update, September 24, 2012--Congress has passed the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the agencies and programs of the Federal government until March 27, 2013. The political science program at the National Science Foundation and the American Community Survey are safe for now. Learn more…
The House on September 13 and the Senate on September 22 passed the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the agencies and programs of the Federal government until March 27, 2013. The CR includes an across-the-board increase of 0.6 percent above the FY 2012 funding levels. This action negates the riders attached to the individual FY 2013 appropriations bills by the House and Senate and their respective funding committees. Thus, the political science program at the National Science Foundation and the American Community Survey, eliminated by the House, and economics research at the National Institutes of Health, recommended for no further funding by the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education spending subcommittee, are safe for now.
Having punted on appropriations, the Members left Washington to return home and their re-election contests. The Congress also failed to complete reauthorization of the Farm bill before it left town. The Republicans hope to pick up the four seats they need to gain control of the Senate; the Democrats hope to switch 24 seats to take back control of the House.
When Congress returns post-election, the current Congress will face the daunting task of coming to terms with numerous policies that some have dubbed "the fiscal cliff." The Budget Control Act of 2011's provision for across-the-board cuts known as sequestration loom on January 2. The expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the Obama cuts to employee Social Security taxes as well as various small tax provisions such as the Research and Experimentation tax credit also are on the horizon.
In the meantime, responding to a bill recently enacted by the Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released figures providing the Administration's estimates of the impact of the sequestration cuts on agencies. In general domestic discretionary programs face an 8.2 percent reduction, while defense discretionary programs would decline by 9.4 percent. There cuts would also include 7.6 reductions in entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The major research agencies would lose significant funds. The National Institute of Health would see its funding reduced by $2.5 billion. The National Science Foundation would decline by $568 million.
The full report is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/stareport.pdf