With the end to the 16-day federal shutdown in mid-October came yet another congressional committee assigned to work out a budget deal. That committee, hurried by a December 13 deadline, hasn’t shown much interest in a long-term “grand bargain” that might include reforms to entitlement programs and taxes, but POLITICO reports that a smaller deal—one that addresses the most immediate disagreements over short-term spending—may be on its way.
Recall that annual appropriations funding (which covers funding for about a third of the federal government) for the current fiscal year still has not been decided. Instead, lawmakers appropriated the funding using a temporary stopgap measure.
According to POLITICO, the committee is working on a plan that would finalize that funding by rolling back some of the limits that lawmakers placed on annual appropriations funding under the Budget Control Act of 2011, at least through fiscal year 2015. That rollback would total about $80 billion to both domestic and defense programs and effectively restore some of the spending reduction wrought by the 2013 sequester cuts. The deal reportedly includes savings in some budget areas, as well as fee increases (but not tax hikes) to offset part of the new funding.
The committee is working on a plan that would finalize 2014 funding by rolling back some of the limits on annual appropriations funding, at least through fiscal year 2015.