House Passes Short-Term Debt Ceiling Deal
January 24, 2013
On Wednesday, the
House passed the No Budget, No Pay
Act of 2013 by a 141 vote margin, temporarily averting a government default
for three months. The bill suspends the federal debt ceiling —a cap on the government’s
overall borrowing limit—until May 18.
Once the country reaches
its current debt ceiling, as it will in mid-February, Congress is required by
law to approve an increase or risk defaulting on existing debt obligations. A default would result in the closing on some
federal agencies, furloughing of government workers, and delays in benefits
checks and health care reimbursements for programs like Social Security and
Medicare. The last time the debt ceiling had to be raised in August 2011, a partisan
fight broke out between congressional Republicans and the White House over pairing
the increase in the borrowing limit with cuts in government funding. Though this
crisis was averted, the resulting deal, known as the
Budget Control Act of 2011, created the sequester that now threatens an
automatic, across-the-board cut to programs like Perkins if
Congress does not act before March 1.
vote, it was not known if congressional Republicans would again insist on drastic
cuts in exchange for raising the current limit, sparking concerns over the
possibility of another protracted debt ceiling battle. However, the No Budget,
No Pay Act does not include a requirement to cut spending and is primarily as a
stopgap measure to prevent a default while allowing time for Congress and
President Obama to find a long-term solution. The bill does require both the
House and Senate to pass a Fiscal Year 2014 budget resolution by April 14, under
the threat of suspending pay to all Members of Congress if they fail to meet
that deadline. President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
have given their support to the plan and will work to pass the bill in the
CTE Policy Watch Blog
Administration’s Budget Proposal Restores Sequester Cut to CTE Funding but Still Falls Short of Need
Earlier today, the Obama Administration released its budget proposal
for FY 2014. This document, normally released in February but delayed
due to the other fiscal issues in play this spring, outlines the
Administration's spending priorities for the coming year.
Duncan Talks 2014 Budget on Capitol Hill
Following the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year
(FY) 2014 budget request on Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
appeared before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the Administration’s plan for funding
education in the coming fiscal year.
In the budget proposal, the Administration suggests
funding Perkins at 1.1 billion, equal to FY 2012 levels, before sequestration.
Additionally, the budget proposes a $10 million increase for the National
Programs line item which is designated for a new dual enrollment program
focused on career preparation.
Despite requests for an overall increase in education
funding, the Administration's budget does not prioritize additional investments
to meet the growing needs in CTE. During the hearing on Thursday, both
Republican and Democratic members of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations
subcommittee expressed apprehensions about the Administration’s strong focus on
increasing funding for competitive grant programs. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT),
ranking-member of the subcommittee, talked about her concern for formula-funded
education programs, like Perkins, which largely did not receive increases in
funding. “The emphasis on competitive funding I find troubling,” said DeLauro.
“What is need is steady secure funding for all of our schools to move toward
improvement.” Federal investments in education must be directed to those areas
with a proven track record of success that provide all students with equal
access and opportunity.
Members of the subcommittee will now begin to draft an
appropriations bill that will fund Perkins in FY 2014. Let Congress know that
it is time to make investing in Perkins a
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