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New Budget Resolutions from House and Senate Committees

The House and Senate Budget Committees marked up their respective proposed Budget Resolution plans this week.  The nonbinding plans offer a general outline of how the House and Senate would divide the funding pie between defense and nondefense discretionary spending.  This plan also forms the basis for later decisions on funding allocations among the various appropriations subcommittees.
Both plans propose erasing the deficit within 10 years without a tax increase, which the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has estimated would require $5.5 trillion in savings over 10 years. Both also are expected to stick with the statutory discretionary spending cap levels for fiscal 2016 — $493.5 billion for non-defense discretionary accounts and $523 billion in discretionary defense spending.
After a bitter struggle, the House Committee determined to support statutory budget caps for both budget categories.  An amendment that would have added $2 billion to the overall defense spending level through an external “Overseas Contingency Operations” account was not approved.  This year’s House Resolution also appears to be based on assumptions that may be difficult to achieve.  Chief among them would be the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, overhaul of the tax code, and targeted spending cuts.  Budget Committee deliberations continue with the hopes of having a measure ready for House Floor consideration early next week.
The Senate plan proposal essentially follows the same formula for defense discretionary spending but when combined with other defense accounts, arrived at figure about $1 billion below the House overall level. The Senate Budget Committee began and completed its negotiations on Thursday.
What does this mean for drinking water?  Essentially, it means that significant discussions about water needs and funding increases for EPA programs are less and less likely to be taken up as nondefense spending issues take a back seat again this year.