President’s FY 2014 Budget: More of the Same, with a Twist
On April 10, 2013, the president released his fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget proposal, more than two months after the statutory deadline. The delay was reportedly precipitated by the absence of final FY 2013 appropriations and uncertainty surrounding budget sequestration mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25). The president’s budget retains the discretionary spending caps included in the BCA (and amendments to it), while eliminating the annual sequestration mandated by the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit reduction (JSC). This is accomplished through both revenue increases and savings in mandatory programs.
The budget repeats themes from earlier budget requests, including proposals to consolidate funding into fewer grant programs, replace existing formula grant programs with competitive grants, and implement a host of new competitive grant programs.
The FY 2013 spending data included in the president’s proposal do not reflect final enacted spending levels, nor do they reflect the effects of sequestration. Instead, the budget reports FY 2013 figures based on the first continuing resolution (CR) adopted last fall, which was in effect until March 27, 2013. It assumes the full annualized levels associated with that CR. In contrast, FFIS figures for FY 2013 cited here reflect final enacted spending levels and the impact of sequestration.
Overall, the FY 2014 budget would provide a 7% funding increase for the major discretionary programs reported by FFIS on Table 1. This increase is somewhat misleading, as various consolidation proposals—such as the one for homeland security grants—would replace smaller programs not listed on the table with one large program that is listed. The increase also underscores the impact of sequestration on FY 2013 program levels.
The mandatory programs included on Table 1 are estimated to increase 12% in FY 2014. The increase is driven by Vaccines for Children (+19%), Child Care Entitlements to States (+17), Medicaid vendor payments (+15%), and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP, +10%). Combined funding for discretionary plus mandatory grant programs would increase 10% under the budget.
Significant FY 2014 budget proposals are described in the following sections.