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Budget Conference Committee Begins Tackling Sequestration


November 5, 2013


Budget Conference Committee Begins Tackling Sequestration

Last week, the House and Senate budget conference committee held its first official meeting. The deal to end the government shutdown and raise the federal debt ceiling that was passed by Congress in mid-October temporarily resolved the protracted budget standoff that shut down the government for 16 days. As part of the agreement, a conference committee of members of the House and Senate was tasked with creating a finalized budget plan and setting overall funding levels for FY 2014 by December 13. The committee will also attempt to tackle long-term budgetary issues like entitlement spending, tax reform and sequestration.

The government is currently operating on a short-term measure that will expire on January 15, 2014. Funds for federal programs, including Perkins, will remain at FY 2013 levels for the duration. For Perkins specifically, federal funding was cut by 5.2 percent in FY 2013 due to sequestration. This resulted in a $58 million reduction in the federal support for CTE in the 2013-14 school year. The conference committee will have to decide if they will endorse a plan to lock in the lower funding levels for FY 2014, or find a way to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

“Sequestration is bad policy, and Democrats and Republicans have said it’s not sustainable, but it is going to continue to cost us jobs and cut vital services until we get a bipartisan deal to replace it that is fair for seniors and the middle class,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA). Sen. Murray, along with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), will lead the conference committee of 29 designated Members of Congress. The members of the committee include:



Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Patty Murray (D-WA)

Tom Cole (R-OK)

Ron Wyden(D-OR)

Tom Price (R-GA)

Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Diane Black (R-TN)

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

James Clyburn (D-SC)

Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Nita Lowey (D-NY)

Mark Warner (D-VA)


Jeff Merkley (D-OR)


Chris Coons (D-DE)


Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)


Tim Kaine (D-VA)


Angus King (I-ME)


Jeff Sessions (R-AL)


Charles Grassley (R-IA)


Mike Enzi (R-WY)


Mike Crapo (R-ID)


Lindsey Graham (R-SC)


Rob Portman (R-OH)


Pat Toomey (R-PA)


Ron Johnson (R-WI)


Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)


Roger Wicker (R-MS)

If you are represented by one or more of the Members of Congress listed here, it is important that they hear from you on the importance of funding CTE. Tell Congress that they need to find a balanced approach to end sequestration.

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