October 1, 2014

House Bills Would Help Replace ‘Automatic’ Cuts

  • The federal budget is an expression of our country's values. Where we choose to spend and at what levels, how and who we tax, and the borrowing we...

The House Budget Committee approved legislation yesterday to block most of the automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect next year and also passed a reconciliation bill with savings intended to help replace the cuts.

Because the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction failed to reach an agreement last year, the Budget Control Act requires a sequester to automatically reduce spending by $1.2 trillion over the coming decade.   

To help replace the cuts, the House budget resolution instructed six committees (Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform, and Ways and Means) to produce legislation with net savings of at least $261.5 billion over ten years.  

The reconciliation bill combined the recommendations from the committees.These included proposals to cut food stamps and Medicaid, repeal portions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and require federal employees to contribute a higher portion of their salaries to their retirement pensions.

The full House is expected to consider both bills this week. However, the Senate has not passed a budget resolution including reconciliation instructions and is not expected to approve the House legislation.

The Concord Coalition has urged Congress not to abandon the automatic cuts without approving credible alternatives for deficit reduction over the coming decade.