House and Senate Budget Talks Continue

Everyone is hopeful that “Friday the 13th” will not affect the outcome of the House-Senate budget discussions that are due to produce a path forward by that date.  Conferees have until next Friday, December 13th, to produce a conference report that outlines spending goals, cuts, and a reduction in sequester impacts for FY14.  Without such a compromise measure in place, the existing Continuing Resolution (PL 113-96) expires on January 15, 2014 and stringent new budget cuts would take effect.

House and Senate budget leaders, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), are keenly considering introducing new legislation to outline their budget proposal rather than trying to find enough common ground to gain agreement among the conferees.  This legislative approach would also allow Congress to pass the entire package by a single vote per Chamber, again minimizing options to amend the proposal.  The new approach (if it becomes the final plan) would increase overall spending by $34 billion for FY 14, bringing the total to $1.001 trillion.