Capital Thinking: Budget and Appropriations

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LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY

Debt Ceiling

The FY 2014 Continuing Resolution enacted in October (P.L. 113-46) suspended the debt ceiling through February 7. While this deadline can typically be extended for a length of time through accounting techniques known as “extraordinary measures”, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is urging Congress to address an increase in the debt ceiling sooner rather than later, as he predicts these measures will only stave off default through the end of February.

The President and Congressional Democrats are holding firm to their non-negotiating position with regard to the debt limit and are pushing for a ‘clean’ increase, whereas House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said he and his caucus would not support a debt limit increase without a corresponding level of deficit reduction. The issue will be at the forefront of discussion during the House Republican Caucus retreat this week.

OTHER ACTIVITY

President’s FY 2015 Budget Proposal Expected on March 4

The President is scheduled to send his FY 2015 Budget Proposal to Congress on March 4. The President will outline his priorities in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, but is expected to again prioritize funding for jobs, workforce development, education, and infrastructure initiatives. It is unclear whether the budget request will adhere to the $1.014 trillion FY 2015 discretionary spending cap established in the recent budget agreement (P.L. 113-67).