Washington Update

House Appropriation Committee Approves Spending Cap Set by Sequestration

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The House Appropriations Committee approved, by a voice vote, an amended spending plan that would adhere to the overall $967 billion spending cap set by sequestration, but would exceed the individual suballocation for defense and provide for more cuts to domestic programs.

The 302(b) allocations would provide $522 billion for defense-related programs, despite a $498 billion discretionary budget cap for those same programs set by recent budget laws (PL 112-25, PL 112-240). Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) repeatedly said that the panel’s hands were tied. “It is my sincere hope that there will soon be a budget compromise that will undo the damaging sequestration law and give us a single, common top-line allocation with the Senate,” Rogers said. “However, until that time, we cannot sit by the wayside waiting for a deal to be made.”

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said Republicans “felt no qualms” about proposing an allocation that “dramatically slashes important, imperative needs that we have in this country and increases the defense budget that sets aside the sequester.”

Democrats argued that the committee should delay approving allocations until the House and Senate had reconciled their respective budget resolutions (S Con Res 8, H Con Res 25).

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