President’s FY 2015 Budget: A Recycling Program
On March 4, 2014, the president released portions of his fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposal, about one month after the statutory deadline; remaining documents were released on March 10. The president’s budget retains the FY 2015 discretionary spending caps included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (BBA), but it also includes a separate proposal that would increase FY 2015 spending by $56 billion. Importantly, the president’s budget proposes to eliminate sequestration of mandatory programs that is part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). Such sequestration would reduce affected programs by -7.3% in FY 2015.
The budget recycles themes and specific requests from earlier budget submissions, including proposals to consolidate grant programs, replace formula grant programs—or a portion thereof—with competitive grants, and implement new competitive grant programs. It also proposes to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation.
Overall, the FY 2015 budget would provide a 6.7% funding increase for the major discretionary programs reported by FFIS on Table 1. The mandatory programs are estimated to increase 9.1% in FY 2015. Combined funding for discretionary plus mandatory grant programs would increase 8.4% under the budget.
Significant FY 2015 budget proposals are described in the following sections.