Budget Agreement Should Pave Way for Appropriations
House and Senate leadership announced a topline agreement yesterday on appropriations levels for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. The agreement would maintain the same level of gross spending that was agreed to in the bipartisan Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) including the reported “side deals,” but it would change the specifics of those side deals to eliminate two of the most gimmicky aspects that could have led to higher spending over the long run.
Although gross discretionary spending in 2024 would remain the same as originally envisioned, this agreement could result in significant reductions in FY 2025 spending.
The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget:
This deal will help clarify the parameters of the spending levels agreed to as part of the FRA and hopefully allow Congress to pass appropriations bills in the next few weeks before the CR runs out.
Despite the absurdly late timetable, it is encouraging to see progress on the appropriations process. Congress should now work to pass individual appropriations bills rather than a gigantic omnibus, which can often be accompanied by a slew of other debt-increasing provisions attached to it.
The FRA was the biggest deficit reduction bill in over a decade. Now that Congress has agreed to spend within its framework, we can hopefully start to see those savings materialize.
Encouragingly, this deal removes some of the most egregious gimmicks from the side deals discussed in the debt limit negotiations last year. This will hopefully lead to significantly lower than planned spending next year and beyond. Unfortunately, the deal doubles down on IRS cuts, which will weaken the government’s ability to collect taxes and ultimately worsen the budget deficit.
With this agreement in hand, appropriators should move quickly to pass all 12 funding bills. Then policymakers should move on to the more important budget discussions – identifying the mandatory savings and revenue necessary to bring our unsustainable debt under control.