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House Passes Short-Term Debt Ceiling Deal


January 24, 2013

By: Mitch

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.

Before Wednesday’s 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 upper chamber.

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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

8/12/13 By: Mitch 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 priority!


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