'Chaos' Possible if Budget Talks Stall

NGAUS Washington Report

(Nov. 12, 2013) NGAUS asked its members last week through a Legislative Alert to urge members of the budget conference committee in Congress to take the high road and  amend the 2011 Budget Control Act if necessary to achieve compromise on future government spending priorities.

And a report this week in CQ.com, which covers Capitol Hill, points out why NGAUS members need to respond to that alert.

"Probably the best we could hope for right now is a continuing resolution," Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., told the publication.

A continuing resolution would mean the cuts mandated by sequestration would be included, knocking the budget for discretionary spending down from $986 billion to $967 billion through the end of fiscal 2014.

"It is important that NGAUS members follow this issue and put pressure on the committee members to find a way to end sequestration," said Pete Duffy, the NGAUS legislative director. "We have to avoid a continuing resolution that would include more cuts from sequestration."

Democrats want to avoid that type of stopgap funding and complete a traditional budget, but Republicans are content to pass another continuing resolution that adheres to the House spending level.

CQ.com points out that another CR, as it is called, would offer federal agencies less flexibility for their programs.

"It would mean continued chaos," Bob Bixby, the executive director of the nonpartisan Concord Coalition, said.