Senate Has a Different Appropriations Approach

Despite Republican opposition, the Senate Appropriations Committee, as advocated by   Chair, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), approved (in a close 15-14 vote) $1.058 trillion as the funding pot to be shared across all Appropriations Subcommittees for FY 14.  This funding level creates a $91 billion disparity with the $967 billion for FY 14 funding required under the 2011 sequester-creating deficit reduction act ($469 billion for domestic programs and $498 billion for defense spending).  Senate Democrats believe that the sequester will be rescinded in the near term and that the elevated funding levels will be more realistic.  The Administration has said that it would veto any FY 14 funding bill unless a broader deal to undo the sequester is agreed to.  Senate Republicans are less optimistic that a sequester-ending deal can be reached.  The Senate approach also creates a conflict with funding allocations being used by the House Appropriations Committee which is expected to result in even more stringent appropriations funding than required under the Budget Control Act.