The Deal that Ended the Shut Down
From our Friends at the National Council of Nonprofits
The deal to end the shutdown provided funding for the federal government through January 15 and extended government borrowing authority (also called the debt limit or the debt ceiling) until February 7. It included minor modifications to the verification requirements for persons receiving health care subsidies but does not suspend or defund the Affordable Care Act.
Congress retained the level of discretionary spending at $986 billion, the same amount as in fiscal year 2013, after the first round of sequestration cuts were subtracted. This figure, known as the “top-line number,” is important because it is the primary point of contention between the Senate and House Budgets. The deal adopted this week calls on the two chambers to convene a conference committee to work out their differences and come up with a FY 2014 budget blueprint that sets spending for the fiscal year. [Senator Angus King has been named to the conference committee.]
The Senate-passed budget sets government spending at $1.058 trillion, while the House version calls for $91 billion less in spending, at a level that assumes that the next round of sequester cuts takes effect on Jan. 15. Reportedly, both sides are interested in canceling the sequestration cuts and replacing them with other savings. It is too soon to tell whether a budget deal can be reached, and if so, whether the next and future rounds of sequestration would be replaced with alternative spending cuts, tax hikes, or reforms to mandatory spending programs like Social Security and Medicare.
MANP Note: The National Council of Nonprofits is collecting your Sequestration stories at www.givevoice.org.