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CTE Policy Watch

House and Senate Pass FY 14 Budgets



By: Mitch

Recently, both the House and Senate approved their respective budget resolutions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. These resolutions set the overall discretionary spending caps for the coming fiscal year and establish the total amount of funding that will be available for programs like Perkins. While both resolutions incorporate lower funding totals—$92 billion below the discretionary cap created under Budget Control Act of 2011—for FY 2014 as a result of sequestration, the two plans offer radically different proposals for funding of important domestic programs that support education, workforce training and CTE.

The House budget resolution, created by budget committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), proposes to reduce funding for domestic programs by $50 billion below what would be required by sequestration in order to protect defense spending from being cut. The Ryan budget sets the goal of achieving a balanced budget in 10 years which it does primarily through reductions in discretionary funding. In his budget blueprint, Rep. Ryan lends support to the SKILLS Act which he argues will “improve accountability by calling for consolidation of duplicative federal job-training programs into a more target career scholarship program.” The House approved the resolution on INSERT DATE by a vote of 221 to 207, with no Democrats voting in favor.

In the Senate, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who took over as chairman of the Budget Committee in January, brought her first budget resolution to the full chamber last week. The Senate plan more evenly distributes funding between defense and non-defense programs. It puts forward various proposals for deficit reduction and economic stimulus to be paid for with a combination of increased tax revenue and targeted reductions in spending. The Murray budget calls for “continued investment in literary, STEM and career and technical education programs.” It also recommends “$10 billion to invest in worker training programs for young people and adults to expand their skills and allow them to move into one of the approximately 3.6 million job opening that businesses across the country are struggling to fill.”

Just after five o’clock in the morning on Saturday, March 23, the Senate passed this budget resolution, its first in four years, with a razor-thin 50 to 49 vote. Though under normal procedure the two chambers would work to create a consensus budget plan, the stark differences between the resolutions passed in the House and Senate make that unlikely. It is now up to House and Senate appropriators to determine funding for individual programs and activities, like Perkins, for FY 2014. 

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