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Legislative Update: Appropriations, Sequestration

House Sets Spending Levels

The House Appropriations committee this week released their FY13 302(b) allocations. Their allocation for the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee is $150.002 billion. This is more than $6 billion below FY12 levels, and approximately $7.8 billion below the Senate’s allocation. Such a large divide between the House and the Senate likely means that we will see another series of continuing resolutions this fall.

Sequestration Hearing Highlights Harmful Impact on Education

The House Budget Committee held a hearing this week on sequestration. Daniel Werfel of the Office of Management and Budget told of the impact of sequestration on security and domestic programs:

If allowed to occur, the sequester would be highly destructive to national security and domestic priorities, and core government functions. The Administration believes that taking action to avoid the sequester in full in a balanced and fiscally responsible manner must be the primary focus of Congress’s deliberations in the coming months… For non-defense, the cuts would be equally harmful and wide-ranging, for example, cutting funding for education, law enforcement, infrastructure, and research and development.

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR) also raised the point of how harmful the cuts would be to education.  Her question to the witnesses was an especially important one for CTE: “What is going happen to our efforts to rebuild the economy and our long term competiveness in a global market when we are doing this to our future leaders?” Mr. Werfel responded that the approximate 8% cut to non-defense discretionary programs would result in a loss of educational services for students, as well as a loss of educator jobs, for districts that are already struggling.

Unless Congress acts to stop it, sequestration will take effect on January 2, 2013.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

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