FY 2014 Appropriations Process Grinds to a Halt; What Now?
In the days leading up to their five-week August recesses, both chambers of Congress reached an impasse on an important spending bill, which signaled a fundamental breakdown in the appropriations process for fiscal year (FY) 2014. In both chambers, it was the spending bill for Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) that caused problems. In the House, the bill was reportedly pulled prior to a floor vote when it became clear that there was insufficient support for the deep cuts included in it. In the Senate, the majority party was unable to invoke cloture (which requires 60 votes and is necessary to end debate), so the bill never made it to a vote. It was the first FY 2014 appropriation bill to be brought to the Senate floor.
While neither of these developments is shocking given the acrimonious environment on Capitol Hill, they do raise important issues for states. What is the outlook for the federal budget as the new fiscal year approaches on October 1, 2013? What will become of the Budget Control Act (BCA; P.L. 112-25) and sequestration? What are the implications for state grant programs?