Despite proposals from both sides of the aisle, President Obama and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, led by House Speaker John Boehner, have yet to reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff.
If no agreement is reached and the 8.2 percent across-the-board cuts, or sequestration, to federal programs occur in early January, Career Technical Education (CTE) would be one of many areas impacted. Sequestration would result in a $92 million reduction in Perkins funding for the next school year.
On Monday, President Obama made his third fiscal plan offer to House Republicans. The President’s offer would permanently repeal the sequester and backload $100 billion in nondefense discretionary cuts. Obama’s plan would include $1.2 trillion in new revenues from individual income taxes and include a permanent extension of Bush-era tax cuts for those making less than $400,000 per year. The plan also includes $1.22 trillion in spending reductions.
While White House staff hoped that House Republicans would work from Obama’s plan, Boehner announced Tuesday that he would pursue a Plan B bill that would raise income taxes for millionaires – extending the Bush-era tax rates for income less than $1 million – but would not address sequestration cuts, entitlement spending, and other expiring provisions. Boehner’s plan has already been stalled in the Senate and received a veto threat from the White House.
Since Monday, there have been no formal talks between the offices of Obama and Boehner. While House Republicans have rejected Obama’s offer, the President is encouraging them to “take the deal” in order to address the fiscal cliff crisis before the start of the new year. The end of the lameduck session, originally scheduled for December 14th, has been postponed until at least this Friday as Congress continues to work toward a deal.
Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager