December 10, 2013
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today praised the House and Senate Conference Committee on the Budget for coming to an agreement on topline spending levels for fiscal year 2014 and 2015. The agreement will allow work to begin on legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year.
“Chairs Ryan and Murray should be commended on their agreement. This type of deal takes courage and resolve, and they have done their very best to find common ground. Not only does this deal hold the line on spending, it actually puts a dent in our annual deficit – a significant accomplishment. Plus, it opens the door for future progress on the problem of runaway entitlements, and paves the way toward budget and economic stability for the next two years,” Chairman Rogers said.
“In addition, this budget conference agreement will now allow bicameral negotiations on Appropriations bills to begin. These Appropriations bills will provide the discretionary funding needed to keep the government operating – thus avoiding another potential government shutdown and more piecemeal, stopgap spending measures,” Chairman Rogers continued.
The Budget Conference agreement sets the fiscal year 2014 discretionary spending limit at $1.012 trillion, approximately $45 billion above the sequester level of $967 billion. The agreement will also “turn off” the next round of budget cuts caused by sequestration, which would have resulted in a more than $20 billion cut to the Defense Department. The budget agreement not only fully offsets these increases, it includes even more savings for the taxpayer.
The Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate will now begin negotiations on a final fiscal year 2014 legislative package. The current deadline for the completion of these negotiations is January 15, when the current Continuing Resolution expires.
“The agreement provides some certainty for the annual Appropriations process, allowing my Committee to get to work and make the hard, thoughtful, responsible, line-by-line funding decisions that are Congress’s duty to make,” Chairman Rogers said. “We have a huge challenge ahead of us – we must craft legislation funding the entirety of the federal government in just one month. However, I know my colleagues on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are up to the task, and I’m optimistic that we can reach a mutually acceptable deal in a timely fashion.”