CONGRESS MOVES FY 2014 BUDGET PLANS AND AVOIDS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate introduced and passed out of committee two starkly contrasting resolutions that serve as each chamber’s blueprint for the federal government’s FY 2014 budget. While these proposals are non-binding and do not need the signature of the president, they have real consequences in constructing the framework for the appropriations committees to write spending legislation in the coming weeks. The potential impact on federal cultural agencies is unknown as these plans are general in nature and do not address many future specific spending decisions. The House budget, in order to cut the federal deficit, proposes a series of deep reductions in spending, major tax rate cuts through tax reform, and defunding healthcare reform among many other policy changes. The Senate version calls for an even split of cuts and tax increases by closing “loopholes” and suggests changes to itemized deductions and possibly the charitable deduction through tax reform as well. The House has passed their budget and the Senate version awaits floor consideration, but there is little hope for a final compromise bill at this time. The White House has set a date for the week of April 8 to release its FY 2014 proposal, which will set the stage for further deliberations. In the same timeframe, the final FY 2013 Continuing Resolution was finally agreed upon—averting a government-wide shutdown. This legislation keeps in place the 5 percent sequester cuts for the NEA and NEH, but funds them through the remainder of the fiscal year.
March 25, 2013 Americans for the Arts