Senate Approves Budget Deal, Reducing Chances Of A Shutdown
by: Scott Neuman, NPR, December 18, 2013 4:12:00 pm
The Senate passed a two-year bipartisan budget deal aimed at easing automatic spending cuts and avoiding a government shutdown following a House vote on the measure last week.
The vote by a simple majority was absent the partisan brinkmanship that has become a hallmark of budget deals in recent memory.
The appropriations committees in both chambers must now set in stone a $1.012 trillion fiscal 2014 spending bill before current spending authority expires.
Last Thursday, the House voted 332 to 94 to approve the deal, which was hammered out by GOP Rep. Paul Ryan and Democrat Patty Murray.
The Washington Post outlines the details below:
"— Discretionary spending would be set at $1.012 trillion for 2014 and $1.014 trillion for fiscal 2015. This is basically all federal agency spending and doesn't include "mandatory" programs like Social Security or Medicare or emergency spending on wars. It's also higher than the $967 billion that was allocated next year under current law."
"Now, we still don't know what each particular agency will receive in funding. That will get determined by the appropriations committees in the House and Senate, who now have to finish up spending bills by Jan. 15 to avoid a government shutdown. Think of the current bill as setting an overall cap on discretionary spending and making that process easier."
"— The bill would provide partial relief from the automatic "sequestration" spending cuts, giving agencies an extra $63 billion over two years, split between defense and domestic programs. So for 2014, the defense budget will be $520.5 billion and the remaining domestic discretionary programs, including health, transportation, and housing, will get $491.8 billion."