Budget

Deja vu: Budget battle looms

Obama and the budget

Obama's opposition to House appropriations bills signals that another long summer of contention over funding the government is likely. (FCW image)

President Obama would veto the House versions of appropriations bills funding Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and military construction, in part because the measures maintain the freeze on federal civilian pay, according to a pair of June 3 policy statements from the Office of Management and Budget. That announcement is the latest move in what is shaping up to be another protracted battle on funding the federal government for fiscal year 2014.

The administration wants the House to nominate conferees to reconcile the House and Senate budgets before starting work on appropriations bills. That seems increasingly unlikely in the current political climate, especially considering the gulf between the two budgets. The House cuts taxes and uses spending levels under sequestration as the baseline for the federal budget, while the Senate version raises taxes and restores cuts made under the Budget Control Act.

The President’s budget steers a course between the two chambers, but tilts toward the Senate version, with increased revenues from changes to the tax code, including limits on deductions enjoyed by the wealthiest taxpayers, and a proposed one percent pay hike for civilian federal employees.

The administration has a list of specific objections to the individual bills, and some points of praise as well. But the main complaint appears to be that maintaining the spending framework of sequestration, "would hurt our economy and require draconian cuts to middle-class priorities." Regardless, House appropriators are moving full steam ahead on the suite of bills to fund the government, releasing funding bills for Defense and Agriculture on June 4.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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Reader comments

Wed, Jun 5, 2013

Only bad Government leaders rely on proposed "increased revenues from changes to the tax code" to balanace their spending. This is fantasy accounting and they all should know it by now. Every projected "increased revenues" from new taxes has always been much less than these people claim it will be. Oboma and the DEMS just want to "tax and spend" more - as usual - but never will take any responsibility for their incompetence and dishonesty. I am not crazy about the Rebuplicans, but the DEMS make them look good by comparison once you have worked through all the biased reporting trying to make the DEMS look good. These people also need to get over the false idea that this bloated spending "would hurt our economy and require draconian cuts to middle-class priorities." Excessive long-term spending is not about helping the economy and the middle-class (because it does not), but about power for themselves.

Wed, Jun 5, 2013

Not again! Have all Republican house membrs Aaccepted so many donatioons from business that they are afraid to do away with even the most gross tax inequities?

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 Terrell Waters Herndon, Va

In my view itl's rediculous that the house will not do their part by cutting back the disproportionate tax breaks long enjoyed by ththe wealthy.

Wed, Jun 5, 2013 Terrell Waters Herndon

Here we go again It is rediculus that the GOP is so adamant ab out not cutting back the dispropiate tax breaks tax breaks for the wealthy

Wed, Jun 5, 2013

OMG. Enough already. A good leader knows how to entice even his/her adversaries to work with him/her. Please, lead Mr. President. Stop acting like you're the head of the democrat party and LEAD the entire nation for once.

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