Fiscal Year 2014 Continuing Resolution Update

In this memorandum we report on continuing developments related to fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations. In our September 9, 2013, General Memorandum 13-079 we reported on what we were expecting the House Appropriations Committee to introduce as a proposal for a Continuing Resolution (CR). That proposal was introduced September 10 as H. J. Res. 59. We also reported that there were calls from some Republican Members for cutting or ending funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, PL 111-148) in exchange for agreeing to vote for a short term CR. Since that writing, a number of FY 2014 CRs have been introduced in the House and other versions are under active discussion. As a general matter House Republicans want a lower spending cap and a continuation of sequestration, while Democrats want a higher spending cap and a final FY 2014 bill that will end sequestration.

H. J. Res. 59. On September 10, House Appropriations Chairman Rogers (R-KY) introduced a FY 2014 CR that would carry through December 15, 2013 at FY 2013-post sequester levels ($988 billion cap) as H.J. Res 59. Of particular interest to tribes is that the bill did not contain the Office of Management and Budget proposal opposed by tribes to cap Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs contract support costs by individual tribal contract. Plans to vote on the bill last week were postponed/cancelled by Speaker Boehner due to opposition from many Republicans to its lack of de-funding of the ACA as well as its higher overall funding cap.

H. J. Res. 62. On September 12, Representative Graves (R-MO) and 42 cosponsors countered with a FY 2014 full year CR at the House Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res 25) level ($967 billion cap) as H. J. Res. 62. In addition, H. J. Res. 62 would:

  • Incorporate House versions of FY 2014 funding for Military Construction/Veterans; Homeland Security; and Defense which include funding increases
  • Fund other agencies under the terms and conditions of FY 2013 but with reduced funding from the FY 2013 levels to “pay for” the increases in the three specific bills named above as there would be a rescission to hit the $967 billion amount
  • Zero out funding for the ACA and the subsequent health care law until January 1, 2015. The language also states that the Act has no effect. As the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act is in contained in the ACA, this bill would zero out Indian Health Service funding.

Democratic Alternative. On September 12, Representative Van Hollen (D-MD) announced that he will offer a “Democratic alternative” as an amendment to whichever Continuing Resolution is brought to the House floor. According to the press release provided by Representative Van Hollen’s office, this alternative CR would:

  • Carry through November 15, 2013
  • Replace the sequester for all of FY 2014 and provide an additional $75 billion in deficit reduction by means of a “50-50” combination of spending cuts and tax increases, namely: decreasing certain farm subsidies, decreasing out-year defense spending, and limiting certain tax breaks for large oil companies and high income earners
  • Set the top-line spending amount for FY 2014 at $1.058 trillion (the pre-sequestration level established by the Budget Control Act for FY 2014, also the same level used for the President’s FY 2014 Budget Request and the Senate Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 8))

The situation with regard to FY 2014 appropriations continues to be very fluid. At this point we do not know what version of a CR will come to the House floor for a vote, although Republican leadership has tentatively scheduled a CR vote for later this week. Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the various proposals for a FY 2014 Continuing Resolution.